‘We can’t do it without each other’

Sunday, August 6, 2017
Spencer Hospital nurse Margaret Molitor shows off some small rubber duck toys. In her nomination for the Iowa Hospital Association’s Hospital Hero award, her hospital colleagues explained that her daily efforts to bring joy to others through gestures such as handing out small toys or singing to others made her worthy of being called a hero each day. (Photo submitted)

Spencer nurse named Hospital Hero

Iowa’s hospitals see over 70,000 staff working congruently to provide for many Iowans or fellow Americans that seek proper care in a time of need. Each year, the Iowa Hospital Association honors only 10 people each year to highlight each individual’s work ethic, kindness and compassion that they bring to work every day. Spencer Hospital nurse Margaret Molitor is one of 2017’s Hospital Heroes, and will be formally honored during the IHA’s annual meeting this October.

“Margaret is a hero — someone we all look up to and admire — in how she lives her life. Each day that Margaret works, she strives to make that day special in some manner for her patients and often her co-workers too,” said Brenda Tiefenthaler, vice president of patient care and informatics at Spencer Hospital.

“Many people have been touched by Margaret’s kindness and her heroic dedication,” said Susan Zulk, vice president of marketing and fund development.

While Molitor’s coworkers expressed high praise for her daily efforts, Molitor shared just as much love and praise for those she works with each day.

“I just think every single nurse and coworker I have — nurses, CNAs, ward clerks, social workers, doctors, PAs, pharmacy, housekeeping, dietary, physical therapy, all the departments that work with us at the hospital; it’s all a team. I think they all deserve this award, they’re all heroes every day,” Molitor said. “It’s an honor, a privilege to work with them. I’m grateful to work at Spencer Hospital.”

Molitor’s nomination by her colleagues also explained that her ability to connect with patients one-on-one and to bring joy to patients and colleagues at the hospital was one of her heroic qualities. Molitor explained that to her, patients were much more than a name.

“I enjoy getting to know people and their families, because they’re much more than just a patient in a hospital bed,” Molitor said. “They had a whole life before that and we hope a whole life after that.”

She continued, “The privilege of being a part of people trusting me ... to tell about their lives and especially when they’re not feeling good or their health status has changed – whatever reason they’re in the hospital — if they trust me enough to tell me enough about themselves it’s an honor. Because they’re much more than just a patient,” Molitor said. “I think coming from a big family — I grew up in Emmetsburg, one of 12 kids — I think ... how they cared about people, I was lucky to have that as a model.”

Molitor credits her family — which includes her husband, six children and 11 grandchildren –— for supporting her and driving her to become a nurse and work hard everyday. She also credits her family of hospital coworkers and colleagues for helping her to do her best.

“We try to everyday of course help each other and support each other. It’s fun to have fun together too, I have a lot of supportive, caring, and fun coworkers,” Molitor said. “We can’t do it without each other.”

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