A lifetime with St. Mary's

Gail Beaty
Former Employee (1979-1993)

My association with St. Mary's started on April 27, 1946--of course my memory is a little hazy about the occasion!!! My siblings were also born there over the next 10 yrs. As a child, my grandparents lived on York St., just across the street from the emergency room, and I remember walking to the Bull's Head area on errands with my mother & grandmother. I always reminded my guardians -- "There is the hospital that I was born at."
Flash forward to May 1979, I was preparing to graduate from MCC with my nursing degree. I nervously applied at St. Mary's, being interviewed by Judy Riley and was hired I will never forget the orientation day when Carolyn Vacanti, D.O.N., stood before a rather large group of new grads announcing where each of us was to be assigned. I had been an LPN for 13 yrs. working in geriatrics and then I heard my name & I was being assigned to work in ICU!!!! I cried all the way home because I was terrified!! The ICU of the late 70’s & early 80's was very different than what you see today. Two rooms one 2-bed room, with a bathroom separating it from a 4-bed room was the ICU---Medical ICU on 4th floor and the Surgical ICU on 5th. The bathroom was actually our nurses' station and many interesting encounters took place in that "spacious" area.
Some time in the 80s both ICUs were combined, moved to the 5th floor as an open 12 bed area. While we were getting used to working in such spacious surroundings AND with each other the former recovery room, the surgical area was being renovated to have a 12 bed ICU and across the way, a 6-bed CCU.
I left on 2 occasions to add 2 more children to our family. On returning I worked per diem in the float pool and later in the Critical Care float pool. I also experienced first hand being a surgical patient in Sept. 1988--Dr. Maxwell was my surgeon and was wonderful.
Dr. Nadaraja also stopped each morning to say hello----I felt so honored by his gesture. My last position held at St. Mary's was in the Radiology Dept. working with Marylou Bianchi and Patti Cory------cardiac caths and interventional radiology. I was fascinated by the procedures and learned so much.
 Sadly, I resigned the summer of 1993 to relocate with my then husband and 2 of our 3 children to the Midwest. Attempted to stay in touch with my co-workers but with our busy lives it became less & less as time went on. I will never forget my time at St. Mary's--Happy 150th!!