The Karma for Cara Excellence in Nursing Award was created to honor and recognize the love, support, and compassion nurses give and the sacrifices they make on behalf of their patients. On January 7, 2015, we honored Sue Ramzy at the UMMC Shock Trauma Center.
1. What inspired you to become a nurse?
I was inspired by my Mom who is a nurse. Growing up, some of my earliest childhood memories were watching Mom get ready for work. She was “old school” with the starchy white uniform and hat, white shoe laces that she washed EVERYDAY and then put on her nursing pin to go off to St. Agnes hospital where she was the night supervisor. Over the years, I have met many people with whom she worked, and she was loved and admired for her hard work,the tight ship that she ran and the zillions of pies she made for the nuns and ALL the staff over 37 years. Twice as a child, I watched her do CPR on people who had heart attacks where we happened to be, and she was successful both times! Being a nurse was the essence of who she was and still is. She is in a nursing home now, but I see her still reaching out to other residents and “caring” for them. My sister is also a nurse, and I know that watching Mom was truly inspirational.
2. What is the most rewarding part about your job?
The most rewarding part of what I do is making a patient and/or family member feel safe and comfortable. Coming to Shock Trauma as a patient or family member can be the scariest thing they have ever been through. The Shock Team really makes an effort to let them know that we are here for them in every way to get them through a difficult time. I can’t answer this question without saying how rewarding it is to work with the staff at Shock Trauma. They are the hardest working, kind and compassionate people and I am really blessed to be a part of that group.
3. What did receiving the Excellence in Nursing Award mean to you?
Receiving this award meant a great deal. I was very surprised and extremely humbled to have been recognized with this award. I was really happy to be sharing this with Harold Hardinger, my friend and colleague. We have both been at the University of Maryland Hospital for over 40 years! We have so many memories and stories from Shock Trauma even going back to earlier days where we worked with Dr. R Adams Cowley, the founder of Shock Trauma, and Elizabeth Scanlan, RN, who was his partner in making Shock Trauma the amazing system that it continues to be today.
4. What message do you want to share to aspiring nurses?
I would let aspiring nurses know that being a nurse has given me even more in life than I have given to my patients. As with any occupation, there are challenges, but the rewards are much greater. One of the great things about being a nurse is that there are so many directions that you can take your career with that nursing degree, and you always have an opportunity to reinvent your career and go a different direction. A few years ago I returned to the University of Virginia to be part of a forum where returning nurses spoke about what they were currently doing in their career. They were CRNA’s, Nurse Practitioners, CEO’s of businesses, hospitals, attorneys, head of the State Department that assigns health care personnel to our embassies and many nurses who were serving in our Armed Forces. It was a wonderful example of what you can do when you start with your nursing degree. For me, being in the hospital at the bedside is the kind of nursing that make me happy!