Growing up, Laurie Pudvar vividly remembers her mother saying she always wanted to be a nurse. So it was an interesting turn of events when her mother became chronically ill and Pudvar, then in her early 20s, took on the role of nurse and caregiver until her mother’s passing.
“The experience of caring for my mother definitely influences how I care for others,” says Pudvar, now an 8-year RN veteran in SVMC’s emergency department. “I treat people, not patients and I understand that, in some instances, illness doesn’t end when they leave the ER. Struggles sometimes continue and they often impact the family just as much as the individual. I try to let people know that I understand that and when I can, I direct them to resources or offer advice for dealing with the stresses illness can create.”
Pudvar, the 2013 Search for Excellence honoree, earned her Associates in Nursing from Southern Vermont College and is currently working towards her Bachelors at Southern New Hampshire University.
“One thing I love about working at SVMC is that they’re always pushing you to keep learning and improving yourself,” she says. “And it’s not just talk. If it weren’t for the tuition assistance they provide, pursuing my Bachelors degree wouldn’t be possible.” She adds, “And it’s not just me. A number of my colleagues are also pursuing Bachelors and Masters thanks to the hospital’s commitment to new knowledge, innovations, and improvement. It’s one of the reasons I wake up genuinely happy to go to work every day.”
“From the time I was a kid, I was always a ‘fixer’,” says Jill Maynard, RN, and the 2011 Search for Excellence honoree. “If someone was in pain or in crisis, I wanted to just make it better.”
In high school Maynard joined a rescue squad, and she knew she had found her calling. By the time college rolled around, pursuing nursing was a no-brainer.
“I earned my BS and RN from Southern Vermont College, which was great, because it allowed me to work as a tech in SVMC’s emergency department,” she explains. Twelve years later, she’s still here as the Assistant Director of Nursing for the department.
“Working in the ER, no two days are alike,” she says, “which is why it’s nice to know that, no matter what, you have the support of the organization. If you have an idea on how to improve things, you feel completely confident to speak up. Your input is really valued.
“The organization is truly interested in helping you succeed. Whether you’re new to staff or taking on a new leadership role, like I did earlier this year. Other leaders rally around you to build you up and help you succeed. That kind of leadership trickles down… we’re all in this to help each other do better every day.”