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Nursing supervisor is Connecticut Nurse of the Year

by Chris DeFrancesco - June 18, 2007

Maureen Worley will tell you saving lives is just part of her job.

It’s something she’s done countless times during her nearly 20 years at the Health Center’s John Dempsey Hospital, where she is clinical nurse supervisor for the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

But it was a life saved away from the hospital that led to her being named the state’s Direct Care Nurse of the Year.

While at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison one day last summer, Worley noticed people waving for help.

“I went over and found there was a man who was unresponsive,” Worley says.

She performed CPR for 20 minutes until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator.

Since then, Worley has been on a crusade to get a defibrillator in every state park.

She’s made her case in letters to local and state officials, including the Governor.

“I believe this is why I received the award,” Worley says.

“I was an advocate for this patient. I wouldn’t give up. I saved this man’s life, but I didn’t want it to stop there. I felt strongly this incident needed to be a catalyst to make Connecticut state parks a safer place to enjoy.”

Worley says she never expected the honor.

“When I was nominated, I was very surprised,” she says.

“I’m comfortable speaking out for patient safety, and helping that man came naturally to me.”

Maureen Worley
The Health Center’s Maureen Worley, Connecticut Nurse of the Year.
Photo by Janine Gelineau

State Nurse of the Year honors are awarded annually by the Department of Administrative Services.

Ellen Leone, director of nursing at the Health Center, says it was one of the proudest moments of her career, “to introduce one of ‘our’ nurses to the outside world – a nurse who embodies everything I am instilling in my professional staff: patient advocacy, teamwork, high professional standards, and a sense of responsibility that goes far beyond the traditional work day.”

Dr. Peter Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs at the Health Center, who was once a patient in Worley’s care, says, “She is a professional who enables a calm, pleasant atmosphere of confidence and trust for the patient and family.”

Worley, a resident of Clinton, spent seven years as an emergency room nurse at Dempsey, then seven years in the intensive care unit, before joining the cardiac catheterization lab as a staff nurse.

She says Dempsey Hospital is a great place to be a nurse. “People stay here because they feel valued,” Worley says.

“We’re respected for our skills. Patients know they can rely on us for quality care.”

Deckers also named Worley the winner of the Health Center’s 2007 Executive Vice President’s Award, in recognition of her outstanding patient care and service to the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

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