Pauline F. Thomassen

Title: Medical and Surgical Nurse (Retired)

Company: Swedish Hospital Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Location: Lynnwood, Washington, United States

Pauline F. Thomassen, Retired Medical and Surgical Nurse, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Nurses for dedication, achievements, and leadership in medicine.

Ms. Thomassen always wanted to be a nurse, and though dealt a major setback by a high school counselor who said she would never amount to anything, she went on to lead an incredible career caring for others. Whether as an educator, staff nurse, or international medical officer, Ms. Thomassen has provided aid across the world- and in her own home, when her second husband fell ill from cancer. She retired in 2002 from her position at the Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle to care for her husband of 23 years, who ultimately succumbed to the disease. Though her husband Ruben is now deceased, her second marriage yielded six successful children, Rhonda, Terry, Diana, Philipp, Barbara, and Steven.

After encountering her high school counselor’s devastating judgment, Ms. Thomassen married her first husband and had 13 years of matrimony before he passed away. She turned to her faith and her home in Colorado to borrow money from her mother to go back to nursing school. As if by an act of God, Ms. Thomassen qualified for a grant to cover her entire education at the Southern Colorado State College, and she went on to earn a BA in psychology with distinction in 1975. She served for many years as a nurse in Seattle, and attended Seattle Pacific University to earn a BSN, magna cum laude, in 1986. Ms Thomassen recalls the subject of her transcultural thesis, a young Eskimo man from Alaska who had injured his leg in an accident. Though he lost the limb, Ms. Thomassen gained valuable insight into the Enubic and Sepharnic culture of Eskimos, as well as the ability to determine time in the light and dark of the Arctic.

Ms. Thomassen served as a staff nurse, preceptor and clinical spine educator in the orthopedic unit of the Swedish Hospital until 2002. Inspired by her cultural experiences, she traveled on many missions of mercy. Notably, she traveled to Haiti in 1995, and on a mission to the Philippines she helped to make dolls for victims of domestic abuse. Ms. Thomassen treated a nine-year old girl in 2006 who had developed a flesh eating bacteria infection from cat scratches. She was part of the 2006 and 2007 medical mission for Mississippi Katrina Relief, and made it as far as Russia and South Africa to teach nursing. In addition to these missions, Ms. Thomassen has been a prolific guest speaker on degenerative lumbar spinal technique, and wrote “Spinal Disease and Surgical lnterventions” in 1995. She is a member of the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses.

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