Excellence In Nursing – Pandemic Response Hero: Pauline Hutsler
Hutsler is a Nurse Practitioner working in the Critical Care, Open-Heart Surgery And Step-Down Open-Heart Units at Heritage Valley Health System.
Every day, Pauline Hutsler goes to work in a unit where the hospital’s sickest patients are treated during a pandemic. The motivation to do so, she says, comes largely from the example set by the other nurses on her team.
“They’re the true heroes,” she says. “I wake up every morning and I think to myself, I’m going to support them and do everything I can to help, to make their day better, just so they know I recognize how hard they’re working.”
Hutsler says one of her most important tools for helping both patients and staff navigate the pandemic has been open communication, whether she’s assisting her team as they care for patients fighting a deadly virus or telling family members about the status of loved ones they’re not able to visit in person.
“We really have to be great communicators,” says Hutsler. “I can’t even imagine being on the other end of that phone and not getting my questions answered.”
Hutsler’s impact reaches beyond hospital walls. A lieutenant colonel, she serves as chief nurse for the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard where her main job is to help keep military members healthy so they can be 100% deployable at all times. She relishes the opportunity to take all she’s learned from the various roles she’s held and people she’s worked with and apply it beyond the walls of Heritage Valley.
“This health system has provided excellent care to the communities that it serves, and I’m very proud to be part of it,” she says.