In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

July 5, 2022

In a Word: Claire Buss on power of curiosity, 5 a.m. dance parties, more

By In the Loop
Claire Buss

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, or talking quietly with a patient and family. 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.


It's been a decade since Claire Buss came to Mayo Clinic. Before her time at Mayo, Buss had several roles as a waitress, a massage therapist and a student.

It was at Mayo that she found her purpose in life.

"Mayo Clinic gave me the opportunity to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up — a nurse," Buss says.

One of my favorite things about Mayo Clinic: The learning environment, ability to work with people from all over the world, and career development

The single most important thing I did at work yesterday (or expect to do tomorrow): Advocate and care for my patients and my colleagues.

A book I would recommend, or one I want to read (and why): "Between Two Kingdoms: A memoir of a Life Interrupted," by Suleika Jaouad. It’s a really interesting paradox of celebrating your partner’s successes while getting the shocking news of a life limiting disease, on top of being hospitalized during COVID-19.

Mayo Clinic has taught me: Patience, leadership skills, communication and flexibility.

Most treasured or best advice from a colleague at Mayo: “Approach each situation with curiosity instead of judgment.” This has allowed me to be an effective communicator in difficult situations.

Most memorable Mayo moment: When Sister Generose passed away, the way Mayo Clinic celebrated the life she led, the symbolic closing of the Plummer Building doors, and her commitment to patients and staff.

If I could choose the "hold" music for Mayo Clinic: Lady Gaga, Counting Crows, Fleetwood Mac

Favorite space on campus this month: Currently, the green space out front at Fairmont. I have a unique position that allows me to be a bedside nurse at different Mayo Clinic Health System sites by being at each location for a certain amount of time. If you ask me in another month, I’m sure it will be somewhere different. Seeing and experiencing the different campuses has been really fun.

People who inspire me: My mom, who is also a nurse. Those who advocate for their community. And my patients, especially those who are at end of life. It is truly a privilege to be a part of someone’s care when they are at the twilight of their life.

The most fun I’ve had at work this year: I’ve been known to have a 5 a.m. dance party or two.

Team Dr. Charlie or Team Dr. Will? Or Team Mother Alfred or Team Dr. W.W. Why?: Hattie Mayo, by way of Dr. Will. I had the opportunity to work at the Foundation House and I loved everything about the property. Hattie because she was able to design the home and even added a really cool carriage house for the caretakers.

When patients recall their visit to Mayo Clinic, I hope they remember: The time someone was able to listen and really hear them. With the pandemic, it was inherently more difficult to connect and create rapport with our patients. As nurses, we found creative ways to still create connections with patients because that is an important part of healing.


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Tags: Employee Stories, In a Word

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