Melanie Mazarick-Hooko is there for people during some of their most vulnerable moments.
As a labor & delivery nurse, she’s with women during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives. She’s also the go-to person in her department to answer questions or onboard new nurses, walking fellow staff members through uncertainty and new situations. And, perhaps most importantly, she has a special talent for caring for grieving families -- families who are at their most powerless. Melanie’s unmatched compassion helps them feel seen during their darkest times.
When someone on her team needs to know something, they turn to Melanie. Not only will she know the answer, she’ll tell her teammate, “Come with me and I’ll show you,” ensuring that they’ll remember the next time. She extends that teaching to new nurses in the unit, regularly volunteering as a preceptor. Her method sticks with those nurses, said McLaren Jewell, one of Melanie’s graduate nurses.
“Mel is the queen of problem-solving and sets a really good example for me as a new nurse to always look for ways to help others,” McLaren said.
Melanie’s most poignant way of helping comes through her work with the department’s bereavement team. Her manager, Robbie Poland, remembered one particular patient who had delivered her baby at another facility and had to be transferred to NHRMC. Tragically, the patient’s baby died, and Melanie worked with the morgue to have the baby’s body released so the mother could hold and grieve her baby. A morgue release had never happened before, but Melanie was adamant that it be done so the mother could process her loss. The patient was extremely sick and had no family support, and Melanie was patient, caring and compassionate, doing everything possible to soothe the mother’s pain.
Because of her kind dedication to all the mothers who come through Labor & Delivery as well as to her fellow nurses, Melanie Mazarick-Hooko is January’s Employee of Excellence.