Working in Clark County: Betty Martinsen, hospice nurse

first_imgHow does someone manage to stay perky and upbeat when a major portion of their life is spent working with the terminally ill?You’d think 29 years in the hospice line of work — that is, caring for people who doctors have determined may have less than six months to live — might be draining, but Betty Martinsen, at 64, is as optimistic as ever working at Community Home Health & Hospice, 3102 N.E. 134th St. in Salmon Creek.“My father was a psychiatrist, and he’d walk out the door every morning and say, ‘I’m out to stamp out mental illness.’ So what I say when I leave the door in the morning is that I’m out to stamp out pain and suffering,” she said.That lifelong mantra and sense of duty won her the Nurse of the Year Award last month by the Home Care Association of Washington, and she was honored in Seattle on April 29.“Betty is always willing to take on tough cases and has a caring and professional way of taking each and every patient and family under her wing, giving amazing individualized care,” Tashina Wilcox, registered nurse and clinical coordinator at Community Home Health & Hospice, said in a news release about the award.Martinsen received her bachelor’s degree in nursing while in the Army during the Vietnam War. She started as a registered nurse while stationed at Fort Polk, La., then lived in Germany, Utah and Texas and eventually Washington.last_img

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