Northside Hospital - Heidi Bailen

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Heidi Bailen

Neuroscience Clinician Heidi Bailen shared with us the heartwarming story behind her decision to pursue a career in nursing, and some of the reasons she enjoys her job every day. Today, we’re shining our employee spotlight on Heidi. Hear her story:

For Heidi, nursing is a second career. She never knew she wanted to work in healthcare until she found herself in the hospital giving birth to her first son. After a difficult and complicated labor lasting more than 52 hours, Heidi was transferred to the operating room and quickly surrounded by doctors and nurses. She was terrified, but a circulating nurse calmed her down with a confident and reassuring voice.

For Heidi, that was all it took. From that point forward, she wanted to be the face behind that calming and comforting voice for someone else one day.

Heidi says that nursing is an amazing career. “Sometimes, it seems surreal like I’m in a dream,” says Heidi. “The most touching and memorable experiences are the patients I spend a great deal of time with. They become like family.”

Heidi gets attached to her patients, and personally invested in their recovery.

Specifically, Heidi remembers one stroke survivor that she was caring for. The patient had been on Heidi’s unit for months after a severe and debilitating stroke. The patient couldn’t speak, had aphasia and couldn’t even move for the longest time, but was still aware of what was going on around her. Heidi spent time talking to her, sharing stories of her life and children, discussing what was on television – anything to pass the time for the patient.

One day, the patient started making sounds and eventually began moving her arm. Before long, the patient was shouting Heidi’s name whenever she walked by her door.

“I started to cry,” says Heidi. “Her voice was amazing. She was talking.”


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