Personal tragedy pushed Belinda Martinez to become a nurse who helps babies and moms in distress
Belinda Martinez, labor and delivery nurse, Palmetto General Hospital
Belinda Martinez was a medical assistant in an OB/GYN office, so she thought she was prepared for the birth of her twins when she went into labor. But something went horribly wrong.
Both twins died at birth, leaving Belinda devastated. She felt grateful for the attention and sympathy from the nursing staff of Palmetto General, though, and their care for her inspired her.
"When I lost my babies, it pushed me to be a nurse," she says. "Working as a medical assistant, it got to the point where I did all I could do. I learned so much, but I wanted to challenge myself."
For the past four years, she has been helping babies and moms in distress as a nurse in labor and delivery at Palmetto General Hospital.
Belinda never considered working anyplace but Palmetto, thanks to the tight-knit team she saw firsthand, guiding her through the most difficult time of her life. And once she got there, all of her hopes and expectations were confirmed.
"I didn't realize how much I was going to enjoy it, but this is lifelong now," she says. "The connection you make with the patients… they treat you like you are part of their family. The staff is so close knit, so close together, that when we have rough days, we all go out, and it is a great support system. The patients pick up on that. "
And while most of the time Belinda’s days are filled with happy introductions, there are times when tragedy strikes, as she knows all-too-well.
She and her coworkers were put through their paces when a recent accident caused a pregnant woman to be airlifted to Palmetto. Thanks to the quick reactions of the nurses, both mother and child were saved.
"If you don't react quickly it can be a different outcome, so the fact that we have nurses who are there for each other, you can’t get that at any other hospital," Belinda says. "When you need someone, you call, and you have nurses converging to get that great outcome of a healthy mom and healthy baby. It is like a family here. I would never change Palmetto for anything."