I am a nurse: Challenging, heartbreaking, rewarding

The Heart of a Nurse: Chris Padrutt


"I work primarily with hepatology patients – those suffering from disease of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas. This is challenging, heartbreaking and rewarding all at the same time. It’s challenging because the disease process is so complex. Often patients are in multi-system failure… It’s heartbreaking when you know a patient isn’t headed in a good direction, and if you lose them, it’s devastating. They leave an impression on you. 

It’s rewarding when you make a breakthrough with a patient and can see that you’ve helped them have an "a-ha" moment in understanding their medications, their diet or fluid restriction. It’s rewarding when a patient comes back to the unit after a liver transplant looking so different, and so much better, that it’s hard to even recognize them."


For more than 14 years, Chris Padrutt, RN, a staff nurse at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, has been a teacher – for both her patients and her fellow nurses.

She communicates with patients on their level. She anticipates their needs before they do. She fights for them. And she does it all while keeping up with the latest evidence and research.

"She is always guiding and teaching the nursing staff and facilitating growth in students," say her colleagues. "She strives for her own excellence while passing on her knowledge."

Chris will tell you that teaching is the most rewarding part of her job, especially when someone walks through the unit door she doesn’t quite recognize – a somewhat familiar, but different face. And then it hits her. A-ha.

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