Above and Beyond: Nurse manager praised for quick, calm response during AC outage in surgical suites

In the "Above and Beyond" series, we're highlighting the stories and actions of staff praised by colleagues for exemplifying Mayo Clinic values.

It was 4 a.m. on a recent Monday morning when issues a local power company was experiencing caused a high voltage distribution problem at the Central Utility Plants at Mayo Clinic in Florida. That subsequently caused the chilled water distribution system to go out, eliminating air conditioning at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Yes, in Florida. In June.

Every floor in the hospital was affected. That includes the Operating Room suites with supplies, sterile instruments and medical equipment that had been prepped for nearly 100 procedures that day.

That was no small thing, says Wally Caldwell, a nurse in the Operating Room.

"The walls and floors in the operating room started sweating," Caldwell says. "We needed assistance ASAP."

That is when Melissa Rado, Caldwell's colleague and nurse manager for the Surgical Division, demonstrated a "remarkable presence of mind" and responded quickly in her typical cool, calm and collected way, he says.

"Melissa answered our call and raced in," Caldwell says.

As staff raced around assessing rooms and opening doors to provide airflow, Rado calmly began making phone calls to Supply Chain staff and Instrument Processing supervisors.

"Some cases were delayed, and some were postponed until the next day," Caldwell says. "Melissa stayed calm and helped us navigate through the chaos."

Caldwell has worked with Rado for more than a decade and says he wasn't the surprised at her response to the situation.

"Melissa's dedication, strong work ethic and caring nature have proven to be invaluable assets to our team and the entire Operating Room team," he says. "Her composed demeanor in challenging circumstances reassured those around her, reflecting her unwavering commitment to patient well-being and her willingness to assist whenever necessary. Melissa's ability to remain calm during such turbulent times was truly commendable."

Wanting to let Rado know how much he appreciated her, Caldwell added her name to the Recognition Wall — a place to give a shout-out to colleagues for going above and beyond, demonstrating Mayo Clinic's RICH TIES values.

This is his note on the Recognition Wall:

"I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Melissa for her exceptional dedication and support during a challenging time. Her willingness to come in early and assist with the power and air conditioning outage that impacted our entire facility was truly remarkable. We are truly grateful."

Recognize your colleagues

To see other colleagues who have been recognized for going above and beyond, visit the Recognition Wall. If you'd like to nominate a colleague, just fill out the recognition form.