Tracy's Nursing Career Story

Jun 6, 2019

Tracy Heinze, ICU nurse, Hilton Head Hospital

“I really don’t know why I came into nursing, but I do know what makes me stay. It’s the people.”

More than 13 years into her career, ICU nurse Tracy Heinze has never wavered in her belief that patients deserve compassion and respect when dealing with emotional stress related to a medical emergency. At Hilton Head Hospital, she gives patients comfort and stability during this difficult time.

“It’s so rewarding coming into some stranger’s life and helping them,” she says. “They don’t know you from Adam. They just want to know how they can prevent an issue in the future and why it happened in the first place.”

Even after a patient’s condition has stabilized, Tracy doesn’t simply vanish down the hallway never to be seen again. She continues to develop a relationship with patients and their families while keeping the lines of communication open for the benefit of all involved.

“I have had patients who say, ‘Why don’t you drop by the unit after your shift to see how I’m doing?’” she says. “They want the care they get in the big city. They’ve been to the big health centers and universities. Here, you’re not just a number. We really focus on the quality of care.”

Among the various assets of Hilton Head Hospital, experience is perhaps the greatest one. Tracy leans on the support of talented and highly trained professionals who all share a passion for serving others.

“For most of the nurses I work with, everybody’s been in the field for a long time,” she says. “We have a great group of doctors, surgeons, nurses and hospice workers. I can call a doctor at 4 in the morning and it’s not a problem. They know we’re calling them for a reason and appreciate that we call them and care about our patients.”