In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

April 12, 2022

In a Word: Tina Oian on her close-knit Mayo family, gratitude for serving patients and more

By In the Loop
Tina Oian

This column spotlights the kinds of people you think about when you think about Mayo Clinic. They've answered questions, serious and otherwise, so you can know them better.


You see them at bedsides. Behind desks. You may spot them walking down a hall or sprinting across a lobby, making every effort to look like they're walking. You see them talking quietly with a patient and family, or sitting down with you at a meeting. They may be friends, teammates or someone you know only by sight. But you're glad they're here. And it's reassuring to know that the health of our patients, our colleagues and the institution itself rests in their capable, friendly, earnest, caring and compassionate hands.


Tina Oian thinks of Mayo Clinic as a city within itself, with each team knitted together like a family. And it's that feeling of family that she has with her co-workers that Oian, a lead charge nurse for the Midwest COVID-19 Nurse Line at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, likes most about working at Mayo.

"The personalized treatment for each patient's need for assistance and care is a chance to see your co-worker shine in their position," she says. "You may even get to spend time with your extended family when you float or receive floats from other units to your home base. There are so many talented and dedicated staff who work at Mayo Clinic."

One of my favorite things about Mayo Clinic: The people — patients, families, friends and staff from all over the world. The diversity of each patient we serve and co-worker we stand side by side with is a gift. I truly love getting to learn about their lives, listening to their experiences, and being present with each of them.

The single most important thing I did at work yesterday (or expect to do tomorrow): Collaborating with leaders on how to maintain great patient care with the COVID-19 Nurse Line and responding to callers on their questions regarding COVID-19. And evaluating processes to ensure we are providing clear communication to our patients with the most up-to-date information and educational practices on when to test for COVID-19, isolate and quarantine, as well as severity of illness, immunosuppression and vaccinations.

A book I would recommend, or one I want to read (and why): I look forward to reading "I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt and The Things We Think We Know," by W. Lee Warren, M.D. My sister recently read this book and said it is a different perspective on being with others as they respond to a difficult diagnosis.

Mayo Clinic has taught me: I was raised to value characteristics like honesty, compassion, and an awareness of the strengths and talents of others and within myself. Over the years, I have been a part of the Mayo Clinic team, which has allowed me to continue to grow in my own values — which mirror those of Mayo Clinic.

Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: "Never give up. You may not be selected, but there will be another opportunity that comes along and is meant for you. Keep working hard, being you, and the right opportunity will come along." I think the reason this advice really struck a chord with me is because my intention will always be to provide great patient care, and share the resources and directions that staff may need.

Most memorable Mayo moment: Being part of the work group that created an integral resource, "The Aggressive/Violent Patient or Visitor Guide," that our team uses to support staff and patients during challenging and fearful encounters. The work group went above and beyond in creating this resource. I am grateful to be part of this opportunity.

If I could choose the "hold" music for Mayo Clinic: A variety of '80s ballads, pop, country and classic rock.

Favorite space on campus this month: The Gonda Building. I love walking through and looking out from the top floors over Rochester and saying hi to others I pass in the halls. Even with masks, you can still see the smile in their eyes.

People who inspire me: There are so many family, friends, co-workers and patients who inspire me daily. I am not able to limit it to a single person. Instead, I find myself inspired by these traits: intelligence (drive for growth in knowledge), caring (whole person, experience and honesty), passion (for others and organization), and innovation (willingness to adapt and change in the best interest of others).

The most fun I've had at work this year: The interactions on our morning Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business chats with our leadership team, charge nurses and COVID-19 Nurse Line staff. When you work remotely, the value of seeing the people you are working with is a true blessing.

Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W. Why? This is hard. They all had such amazing qualities. I see the effects of these founding and pivotal members of Mayo Clinic. Their leadership has affected the experience in each and every shift. It is evident in the way each staff member and every position help to shape the care we provide. I am very honored to work for an organization that fosters the growth of each employee. I am grateful for the outlet to serve others in such a personal and professional endeavor.

When patients recall their visit to Mayo Clinic, I hope they remember: I hope the patients feel the values of Mayo Clinic realized through each interaction with our staff. One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou is: "I've learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."


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Tags: Employee Stories, In a Word, Nursing, Tina Oian

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