Paula Kroll

I would like to nominate Paula Kroll for the Sunshine Award. Paula is a surgical department charge nurse. She has shown me the reasons why I chose to work in this field. She also follows Mayo’s values above and beyond. She’s amazing! She always makes work a better place to be when you see her walk in the door. She brightens up my day and makes the day easier to get through because she knows how to care for individuals and she knows how to handle us and she keeps us all happy. The reason I am nominating her for this award is because I started my new career about a year ago. I went to school and started this job expecting something so much different. Needless to say, about four months into my job I stopped asking anyone for help anymore. I was tearing up daily if not numerous times in a day. I underestimated the amount of tough skin you need to have to work in a surgical department. I was feeling like the outcast because I work in the department washing and inspecting instruments and putting the pans together before they are sterilized. Some people, I guess you could say, look at me and this department like we don't know anything and don't even give us the time of day because we are not a part of the actual team the physicians see, when really, we are a huge part of their team as well. To make a long story short, after over a year of school and thousands of dollars invested. I swore I had made the wrong decision and I hated this job/career. I was done getting yelled at and done getting treated like I was the janitor (even the janitor got more respect). I swore I was going to walk out and never come back. Then Paula walked into my life and supplied an answer to all the sad emotional day/nights and answered all the second guessing I was doing to myself daily. It honestly took just her huge heart and amazing smile. When I was in a bind and still learning, she stopped the operating room duties she had going, came downstairs, and took the time to explain and help me out with something I hadn't done before. She had seen me trying but struggling and without hesitation she helped me and treated me like we had been coworkers for years. Together we would figure it out and get everything done. She didn't have to do this. She could have done what everyone that I had dealt with in the past eight months had done…walked away or yelled at me to the point that I was in tears. I honestly almost walked out on my career before it even truly had a chance to get started. She is a nurse but she has truly changed my way of seeing so many things. I tell new employees about Paula so they know she is the one to go to. She cares and has such an amazingly HUGE HEART! She saved me from walking out. She didn't even realize what an impact she had made on me. I have told her a few times but I don't think that it was enough. I want Paula to receive a Sunshine Award so she will have another reminder to continue what she does best. Without nurses like her in this world people like me would be eaten alive and possibly walk out on a fantastic career/job because of not being prepared enough to have thick skin. She taught me not take things personally. It’s just not taught or even mentioned in orientation, school, or anywhere in life that some jobs are just high stress and you will be the punching bag to a lot of people. I don't mean it to be so horrible sounding, it’s just the way such a fast paced, HIGH stress job is and I was far from prepared. Paula Kroll, you saved me and my job, just from being such a wonderful person. Don't ever lose sight of who you are and don't ever lose that amazing light you have because we need more nurses/coworkers just like you! I will never forget the impact you made on me, my life, and my job. I plan to keep this with me always and try to pay it forward, even if it’s twenty years from now. I only hope to still be making a positive impact on others like you have done for me and so many others, daily!

Ashley Webber