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                          News Applause


MUSC Nurse of the Year goes to…

by Dawn Brazell
Public Relations

Cheryl Morrisette sits stunned outside of St. Luke's Chapel processing that she just won MUSC's Nurse of the Year at the awards ceremony.

"I was surprised. I was taken aback. I'm still surprised," she said, laughing as she watches her fellow nurses enjoy a reception May 7 honoring their hard work and standards of excellence.

Nurse of the
                                          YearMUSC's 2012 Nurse of the Year Cheryl Morrisette takes a moment in the spotlight. Watch a video at

Morrisette said she loves her work as a nurse in the operating room at MUSC's Ashley River Tower (ART). She assists with open-heart and other surgeries and finds it fascinating work. "It's just very interesting work. It's what I've always done. I work with a great group of people, doctors, nurses, perfusionists, residents and anesthesia staff. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with."

Morrisette, who has been at ART for four years and a nurse for more than 30 years, said what makes a good nurse to her is someone who is caring, dependable and level-headed. "You have to be able to get along with a lot of different personalities because OR nurses have to work well as a team."

Nurses do face more stress and pressure, but it helps that she has an even temper. "I don't get flustered."

Fred A. Crawford, M.D., a Distinguished University Professor, said she's intensely loyal to the cardiothoracic center and to MUSC as a whole. "The patient is always first. She comes prepared. If she has any questions, she calls the day before. If I see her scrubbing in, I know I'm going to have a good day."

Crawford, who dislikes people who whine, said he never has to worry about that with Morrisette. She's like a bulldog and sticks it out to the end on whatever case they may be working. "She's there, and she gets it done right." It allows him to focus on the case at hand.

Cheryl Morrisette, Nurse of the Year, celebrates with Dr. Fred Crawford. Other Nurse of the Year nominees were: Andrea Homan, MICU; Mack Scheider, IOP; Eugenia Mathias, 6W ART; Jaime Nettles, Ambulatory Care; and Tressa Heinen, Pediatrics.

Also, attending the ceremony was Dave Morrisette, director of the Division of Physical Therapy at MUSC's College of Health Professions and Cheryl's husband. The award didn't surprise him at all. She's very high energy and definitely a Type A personality, he said. She's always on the move at home, and only sits down to watch the news on TV. When they were dating, he had to run – literally – to catch her. Their first date was a movie, but after that they discovered they both loved running.

"After that, every date was a run, followed by cinnamon chocolate milk shakes," he said. "And she's faster than me."
She enjoys swimming and plans to compete in the Lowcountry Splash, a 2 ½ mile swim in the Charleston harbor. Dave said his wife is a great mother to their two sons and a very caring person. Even the next door neighbor's Jack Russell terrier came to their house when he got hit by a car. "She has a warm spot for animals."

That's true for patients and fellow co-workers too.

Crawford said the center has an excellent staff of scrub nurses and everyone loves her. She has a knack for knowing what he needs in surgery. "If I put out my hand and she puts something in it, I better know what it's for."



Friday, May 11, 2012

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