Maria Martuscello, BSN, RN, CPN, cardiology nurse, is January’s Employee of the Month. Martuscello, who has been with Boston Children’s for more than 20 years, is part of the Electrophysiology Program (EP). She’s often the first to arrive in the morning and, on the rare occasions when she can’t make it in, she checks remote transmissions from home. She’ll also often stay late, moving her schedule around to meet the needs of the clinic, and is such an integral part of the program that, when she went on vacation last summer, it took an entire village to make up for her absence.
Martuscello’s role involves a lot of patient risk; she is after all managing pacemakers and ICDs in fragile patients with congenital heart disease, heart block and cardiac arrhythmias. Meeting that challenge requires developing an immense knowledge base and cultivating great attention to detail and Martuscello more than rises to the challenge. She knows every pacemaker patient personally, displays expert clinical judgment, doesn’t miss any details, and, as her teammates explain, has an innate sense for when something is amiss: “Maria has unparalleled expertise in cardiac rhythm management devices and our team relies on her specialized knowledge each and every day.”
Her colleagues throughout the hospital also consider loyalty among her greatest assets. Martescullo has served as the hospital’s only pacemaker/ICD nurse since July, when her colleague left Boston Children’s. “Summer is the busiest time of year on our service, and not an easy time to be understaffed, but Maria has persevered and continued to practice at the highest level,” one of her teammates says. “She has quietly and humbly done the work of two nurses.”
Within EP and within the outpatient cardiovascular nursing program, Martuscello as deeply valued for her willingness to provide assistance and share her constantly expanding expertise whenever asked. Little surprise then that she is frequently sought out by staff, fellows and nurses for just that. She has trained many of the cardiology fellows in EP devices. As one former fellow put it, “I would not hesitate to state that more than 90 percent of my current knowledge in device interrogation and management is the product of Maria’s patient and detailed teaching.” As one nurse explains, “despite her workload essentially doubling, she has shown incredible stamina and dedication as she has risen to the occasion during these transitions.”