Staff Spotlight: Kristi Hansen
Name: Kristi Hansen
Role: Registered Nurse in Sound Surgeons Surgery Center
Joined NWWC: October 2018
Personal Life: Kristi is married and has two teenagers and two dogs. She has worked her way across the country over the years. She was born in Tennessee, moved to Iowa in junior high, moved to Minnesota with her high school sweetheart & husband, moved to southern California, moved back to Tennessee, and arrived in Washington one year ago. “I am ready to stay put for a while.”
Life Before NWWC: Kristi has been a nurse for 24 years and has always worked in acute care hospitals before joining NWWC. She has worked in intensive care, step down (the transition between intensive and general care), post-anesthesia care, and cardiac catheterization (cath) lab. Her cath lab role was the most intense. When on call, Kristi slept with a pager and had to be in within 30 minutes of being paged to provide CPR and stabilize patients who were on the edge of death. She has worked her fair share of nights, weekends, and holidays and is enjoying the calmer setting of the surgery center.
A Day in Her Job: Once patients have checked in for surgery, Kristi greets them in the waiting room and takes them to the surgery center. She prepares them for surgery by starting their IV, completing a medical assessment, reviewing the preoperative surgical questions, and providing them with medications. After surgery, Kristi takes care of patients in recovery. The first full hour is one-on-one time with a nurse. “We don’t leave their side.” She comforts patients as they come out of anesthesia, manages their pain and nausea, and encourages them to take their first sips of water. As their recovery continues, Kristi helps them to get dressed, supports them as they take their first laps around the nursing station, and continues to manage pain, nausea, and hydration.
What Else to Know about Kristi:
- Kristi has known she wanted to be a nurse since she was a child. She had surgery when she was 6 years old and really liked the nurse who took care of her. “I thought, ‘She helps people feel better. I like that. I want to be a nurse.’” And the rest is history! She enjoys the autonomy of nursing and being able to help patients on a daily basis.
- Kristi’s most memorable patients are an entire family who have had bariatric surgery. She has helped 3 of the 4 family members. “They are a super cool family. It’s been great to see them all go through the positive experience together. They all help to support one another.”
- Kristi and her family enjoy the outdoors. They hike in the summer, including the dogs, and have explored many of the trails in the Cascades. They are hoping to tackle more hikes in the Olympics this year. They usually visit northern Minnesota each summer and Kristi hopes to own a cabin there someday for retirement. In the winter, Kristi cross-country skis while the rest of her family enjoys the downhill version.
- Kristi’s children are gearing up for exciting life transitions. Her daughter starts her senior year of high school this fall and is considering colleges in California, Washington, and Minnesota. Her son is becoming an Eagle Scout this summer following a 2-week backpacking and camping trip in Canada.