Mary Warner-Swearingen has been a nurse for 27 years, including 19 years in the Memorial Healthcare System and one month at Memorial Hospital Miramar. And the story behind her becoming a nurse is inspiring.
“I was leaning toward being an obstetrician, and then the first live birth I saw, I was a senior in high school and I did a health service class and we went to a unit that had a labor and delivery unit, and I saw the delivery. And I said, ‘Where’s the doctors?’ And they came in, and they did the delivery and they left, but the nurses always remained at the bedside, so when I saw that, that’s when I changed my mind and I decided, ‘I’m going to be a nurse and I want to do labor and delivery,’” said Swearingen.
Mary is a high-risk obstetrics nurse, meaning many of the patients she sees, and their babies, require extra attention and care. And that is a big part of what she loves most about being a nurse.
“My original training was at Jackson Memorial in Miami and everybody was pretty much high-risk, and you don’t realize until you go to a unit that has some low-risk setting and you see a whole different side of it. And then as my career advanced in years I got back into the high-risk side and then it’s more intimate than even just a birth. We have women that live with us for weeks on end to stay pregnant and healthy, and you become healthy. They learn about you, you learn about them, and you become their support system while they’re living in the hospital,” said Swearingen.
Although she’s only been at the Miramar hospital a short time, she’s already making quite an impression. In fact, her manager, Hortense Martin, has known – and respected – Mary for many years.
“Mary is a phenomenal nurse. I met Mary when I first moved here to South Florida many years ago and now I’m excited to have her back on my team because she brings such passion and care to what she loves,” said Martin.
In addition to being a fantastic nurse, Mary also lightens the spirits of her patients and coworkers with her personality. She even dressed the part during the hospital’s superhero week. And she knows being a nurse isn’t about accolades, it’s about loving what you do and how you can help others.
“If you pick this profession you need to love it, you need to love it for the right reasons. It’s not something you go into for people to thank you every day or to feel as if you deserve something in return. You do it because you love it and you need to love it forever,” said Swearingen.
Congratulations to Mary Warner-Swearingen, our February Nurse of the Month. My Favorite Nurse is brought to you by West Coast University. If you know a nurse like Mary, make sure to nominate them at myfavoritenurse.com.