6 degrees of nursing - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

6 degrees of nursing

Jodi Meronk is a former patient of Judy Mauritz, who now works along side her Jodi Meronk is a former patient of Judy Mauritz, who now works along side her
Veteran NICU nurse Judy Mauritz has worked in the NICU 36 years Veteran NICU nurse Judy Mauritz has worked in the NICU 36 years

by Pam Warnke

MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- Judy Mauritz has experienced a lot in her 36 years as a NICU nurse.

But she knew she'd seen it all when former patients started becoming colleagues.

"We have had three staff nurses that I took care of as infants," said Mauritz.

Four and a half years ago, Jodi Meronk, 25, joined the NICU nursing staff at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.  It's the place she began her career and her life.  Jodi's Mom delivered here, after weeks of hospital bedrest, in April of 1984.

"I was six weeks early and in the NICU needing help breathing, on a ventilator, and help eating, " Meronk said.

Judy helped with all of it.  And, the care she and other staff nurses gave the Meronk family inspired Jodi's career.

Meronk said, "It always made me think of, man, that would be a good job--taking care of all the little babies.  And, so I guess I kept saying that and that's what I am today."

Jodi's nursing duties vary from day to day, but they revolve around babies needing significant attention and rigorous care.

"Sometimes I'm in charge, taking care of babies on ventilators to feeder growers.  Basically just getting the little ones ready to go home and teaching families.  Making sure the babies get all the care that they need since they're not inside their Mommies tummy anymore," she said.

Jodi has excellent veteran nurses to look up.  Clinical questions come with answers from nurses who've been there.  Including nurses like Judy, who says she's not all that surprised Jodi and two other former patients have come back as staff.

"I think I was talking to them as infants about being neonatal nurses," said Mauritz.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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