Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Moments in nursing

Jeanne Bryner
Nora Mazur
Newton Falls, Ohio, United States


Top pieced by Jeanne Bryner

Quilting done by Nora Mazur

Jeanne Bryner: On any given day, one of our cells may deviate from its usual path. Others cells may follow, leading us from a state of wellness to one of illness. How can we survive this civil war? Who will bind our wounds and mind us in this fight? Nurses patrol these borders, patch us up, and protect us as best they can, for they are the pillars of healthcare.

Nora Mazur: After four decades of bedside nursing, I wanted to make people more aware of our profession’s many dimensions. The photographs on the quilt appeared square and flat until I added the motion of curves to each small panel, for very seldom are nurses static. The connecting fabric strips are stitched with patterns of EKG arrhythmias. Nurses may recognize the various rhythms and smile; others will see them as heartbeats.




JEANNE BRYNER, RN, BA, CEN (rtd), was born in Appalachia. A graduate of Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and the Honors College of Kent State University, she’s a retired board certified emergency room nurse with several books in print. Her work has been adapted for the stage, performed nationally and in Scotland for the 2004 Fringe Festival. Recently she co-edited Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose with Cortney Davis. This anthology received the Tillie Olsen Award for creative writing from the Working Class Studies Association and first place in the 2019 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing for creative works. She has received writing fellowships from Bucknell University, the Ohio Arts Council and Vermont Studio Center. She teaches writing workshops in schools, universities, cancer support groups, and assisted living facilities. She lives with her husband near a dairy farm in Ohio.

NORA MAZUR is a retired surgical nurse with over four decades of beside nursing experience. A graduate of Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, she was secretary to AFSME Local 62 nursing union. The daughter of a nurse, mother of two children, and grandmother to five beautiful grandchildren, she has a passion for quilting on her long-arm machine and enjoys the company of other quilters. She and her husband, Bob, live in Champion, Ohio



Spring 2020  |   Sections  |  Nursing

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