Research Medical Center
February 18, 2014

Holly Tye, RN

by Linda Friedel | Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News

Holly Tye has cared for patients on the same unit for 23 years. Two decades later, she says it’s like a family away from home.

“I am exactly where I started,” said Tye, RN, charge nurse on the medical-surgical unit at Research Medical Center. “I attribute that to great bosses.”

Who you work with makes all the difference, Tye said. She finds great satisfaction in her specialty, too. Every day is different on the unit where she sees everything short of orthopedics and neurology, she said.

“We get thrown anything you can think of,” Tye said. “It is the foundation for every other aspect of nursing. You learn an incredible amount on med-surge.”

As charge nurse, Tye says she is a jack of all trades. She rounds with physicians, coordinates patient arrivals and discharges, trains new nurses and educates seasoned staff members. Like in any field, change is constant, Tye said. Tye said she rolls with changes in systems, technology and equipment. They become teaching moments, she said.

“You have to just embrace it and learn and teach, and I enjoy that,” she said.

Tye learns from her patients, too. They have taught her the power of communication, she said. Know how to listen, apologize and follow through, Tye said. It works with upset staff members and it works with patients who are having a bad day, she said.

“Listen to them. That is the biggest thing,” she said. “Listen to your patients and follow through. Let them know they can trust you and that you are there for them.”

Tye always has been drawn to caretaking, she said. She was the first in her family to pursue nursing, graduating from Barnes Hospital in 1991. Nursing means helping people in their time need, she said. For Tye, it doesn’t get much better than that.

“You can make them smile and help them,” she said. “There is no other feeling. It’s just very rewarding.”

Tye was recently rewarded. Her manager pulled her aside. There was a complaint. Could Tye look into it? Tye went to investigate but instead was met with balloons. Hospital administrators and colleagues surprised her with a cake and balloons, honoring her as employee of the month.

“I was extremely surprised. It was very humbling,” Tye said.

Tye goes the extra mile to help with the unit, said Dianna Lusso, RN, BSN, CMSRN, nurse manager. She excels at juggling responsibilities on a large med-surge unit, she said.

“She stays pleasant. She’s driven,” Lusso said. “She has a wicked sense of humor. She’s fantastic. l don’t know what I’d do without her.”