Holly Abahazi, a registered nurse at Mercy Health — Lorain Infusion Center, has been serving with our ministry for 29 years.
“I was inspired to become a nurse after watching my grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease,” Holly shares. “I knew I wanted a career in health care where I could help people, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. My friend convinced me to become a personal care assistant (PCA). I wanted to gain more experience in a hospital, so I started working as a nursing assistant at Mercy Health while I was going to school. After graduating, I was hired to work on 3 west tower which was a med-surg floor.”
Holly believes she was taught how to be a nurse by some of the greatest nurses ever. In fact, the knowledge and skills that they taught her have molded her into the nurse she is today.
“What I thought was a steppingstone turned into my long-time med-surg nursing career,” Holly reveals. “Twenty-four years later, I was given the opportunity to work in the Mercy Health – Lorain Infusion Center where we give chemotherapy, transfuse blood and treat patients with different types of medications to treat chronic illness.”
For Holly, the most rewarding aspect of being a nurse is making a difference in the lives of her patients and their family members.
“When we take care of our chemotherapy patients from the beginning of their treatment, we see them at their best, at their most vulnerable and, sometimes, at their very worst,” Holly explains. “We build trust by supporting, educating, listening, encouraging, laughing and sometimes crying with the patient and their family.”
Holly adds that her most rewarding time is on the last day of a patient’s treatment. It’s bittersweet because they have become part of the infusion center family.
“However, it’s one of the best feelings is when they get to ring our bell and we watch them walk out of our unit with a smile on their face, knowing that this was tough, but they did it. By far one of the best feelings ever. Even better is when you see them a year later, they remember your name and thank you again for all you do. It’s priceless! I’m proud to say that I made a difference in someone’s life.”
As for Nurses Week, it is a time of reflection for Holly.
“When I think of Nurses Week, I think about all the many fantastic nurses, in the past and present, that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years,” she says. “They have all touched me in one way or another. They taught me courage, strength, kindness, patience and humility.”
Thank you for your dedication and decades of service, Holly!
Happy Nurses Week! The compassionate care provided by our dedicated nursing professionals is at the core of everything we do at Mercy Health, where nurses mean the world.
Join us in thanking our nurses! Use #MercyHealthNursesWeek on social media to share your “thank you” messages.
Also, read more stories about our amazing nurses.