She is helpful, supportive, respectful and kind to everyone she encounters.

Anonymous, Employee

Justine’s career at Bronson Methodist Hospital started as an extern in labor and delivery, quite a different environment from the world of trauma nursing.  However, after accepting a Trauma Care Unit (TCU) position she quickly acclimated to her new environment.  Since day one she has been eager to learn anything and everything we can teach her and consistently seeks out opportunities to gain more knowledge. Her patience and gentle way of teaching is unmatched. She is helpful, supportive, respectful and kind to everyone she encounters.  I have never once seen her in a bad mood in the year and a half I’ve known her.

It is not uncommon to experience intense, tough situations with our patients.  Even for the most seasoned nurses these situations can be challenging to navigate.  One night she had a patient that was going to be discharged the next day. He/she was struggling to get comfortable and requested to sit in the recliner. Moments after getting him/her settled in the chair they became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Justine quickly went into action, calling for help and initiating a code blue. She worked tirelessly to resuscitate her patient but despite the team’s efforts, he/she passed a little while later.

Probably still in shock from the night before, Justine returned to work the next night where she was assigned an unstable critical patient. Justine was monitoring them closely and constantly conversing with the physician regarding his condition. In the worst coincidence ever, this patient’s heart rate suddenly slowed to a stop and he/she became pulseless.  Justine summoned for help, quickly started CPR and worked with the team for the next four hours to revive the patient.  Eventually the efforts failed and he/she died surrounded by his family.

After an event like this, most nurses struggle to care for themselves, in fear it would make us look weak. However, Justine sees the value of being well and supported her team by encouraging them to attend a CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) debriefing after the deaths.

During this entire time, Justine did not lose her cool, maintained a level head and a positive attitude. She was able to think critically under pressure in a way that only an up-and-comer could.  Her performance in those back to back instances of extreme stress was definitely that of a star. There are some skills in nursing that can’t be taught.  You either have “it” or you don’t.  And Justine is one of those that have it. I am so proud to have her as a part of our Trauma Care team!

Justine Hageman is a nurse on the Trauma Care Unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital. She is the recipient of the 2018 Nursing Rising Star Award, and was recognized during the 2019 Nursing Excellence Celebration. 

READ OTHER Nursing STORIES