I have never met anyone that is as dedicated as Mary. Her dedication does not just extend to the wellbeing of the clinic, but through her tireless efforts, to the nurses under her care and direction, and to her consistent reliability that she gives to the patients as well.
It is a commendable thing when someone at the top will just listen to you. It is another thing all together when someone at the top gets their hands dirty with you. That is Mary. She stops what she is doing to assist in a patient problem that you are having trouble with, and many times is able to give you a path that you would have otherwise not have been able to find.
In a clinic where we joke about just about anything, Mary is one that can bring us to attention. She reminds us to examine ourselves and focus on the patient. When we see her checking in patients, stopping in our offices to help us prepare for inspections, and coming to meetings always cheerfully and with an attitude of humbleness and a concentration on what is going on, it inspires us to examine ourselves in our profession.
Recently, there was a patient that was elderly and did not have the strength to cut his bilateral great toenails. They were starting to grow into his skin. Mary took the time to leave her stacks of work, to go to the team that had asked her, and carefully trimmed them. Another nurse wrote to me, “How about when she cut the toe nails of my homeless patient? She gave no regard to his smelly shoes, or dirty feet. He was embarrassed and she made him feel like he was the most important issue she needed to address.”
There was much trouble with my time off account. I had gone back and forth with the Time Management office. I had not heard back from that person for several weeks. The day that had been approved had been a mistake from the day I was requesting and the time was growing closer to needing to know if it had been approved. On the day of the incorrect approved date of leave, I messaged Mary and stated that since I was here at work, if I get this leave date deleted and use the correct one? Mary’s response to me was “I’m on the phone with them now trying to get it taken care of.” I had asked the Time Management office 2 weeks prior. I didn’t think the Nurse Manager of several other clinics, including mine, would keep my small problem on her to-do list, but I was blown away that she would be so active in helping me!
Mary inspires us all to work hard. She always looks down the road to check what’s coming and she always seems to be there to head it off, if it’s at all possible. This clinic (FTO) is especially bombarded by the other clinics. The Mental Health Clinic has always sent their patients to us for the EKG’s. We are so busy down here not only with our own patients, but all the patients that come to us from other clinics for their injections and preops. She has continually taken extra time to help us out by asking the other clinics to take care of their own patients, and when times get really wacky, has even taken on the patients herself.
I’ve never known a Nurse Manager that really studied the work load of their own nurses and then tried to alleviate the load. We are dependent upon the leadership, love, and integrity of our Nurse Managers, and Mary is always there. Mary focuses on the issues that we face daily. No matter if it is with a patient lead for another clinic or team, she carefully gathers all the information and then deals with us kindly and firmly.
A note from a fellow nurse: “I think the time that meant the most was when the ENT doctor told me I had a tumor on my thyroid and they believed the biopsy was a false negative. I walked in her office and told her. I fell completely apart and she just hugged me and let me cry. I can name on one hand the five top managers that I have had in my 30-year career, and she is one of them!”
Another nurse wrote: “One night she stayed late on a Friday helping me get a patient placed in a Nursing Rehab facility. He was a homeless patient that was hit by a car. They were going to discharge him from University to Haven for Hope, because he was not improving with PT from the brain injury. We were here until at least 7PM, until we got him accepted to another facility.”
I am retiring soon, so I don’t believe I will be here to honor her. I will certainly miss the patients, nurses, peripheral staff and the clinic, but I will truly remember Mary Mathers. I was so tired as an LVN, but Mary re-inspired me to continue working through until the job for that day was completed, to not put off for tomorrow what I could do today, and to be aware of the needs of the patients.