Sharon Hansen, Nurse Educator
Sharon Hansen, RN, MN, CCRN, is a lecturer in the University of Washington Tacoma Nursing & Healthcare Leadership Program, but it is her work in raising sepsis awareness that resulted in her being named as a 2018 Sepsis Hero.
Nurses often have a few patients that leave a lasting impression. “In 2010, there was a young man who passed away from sepsis,” Sharon says. “He still is one of the faces I see when I teach about sepsis recognition and resuscitation. As a result of his case, an emergency department educator and I developed and taught a class for the emergency and critical care departments.” Sharon went on to learn about Sepsis Alliance and became an important part of the Sepsis Alliance volunteer team, working on different projects such as presentations for the general public and webinars for healthcare professionals, giving her time whenever possible.
Sepsis also touched Sharon personally, when her husband developed sepsis in 2003 and she saw first-hand its effects not only during the acute illness, but in the months following, as he struggled to recover. He is one of up to 50% of survivors who are affected with post-sepsis syndrome. This personal point of view makes Sharon’s teaching even more vital, as she understands the personal cost of sepsis.
When told that she was named a Sepsis Hero, Sharon said she was incredibly humbled and honored. “This award is really about the amazing family I have and our journey,” she says. “It is about working for MultiCare Health System and the University of Washington, Tacoma. Both these organizations and the teams I work with have supported me through extremely difficult seasons and have provided me with the opportunity to grow in understanding and teaching ability.”