Taken from NorthJersey.com
August 25, 2020
Nancy Martell, a patient care technician at Palisades Medical Center, was an obstetrician in her home country of Peru. When she moved to New Jersey in 1997, she intended to pursue studies to become licensed as a nurse here, but life — and the need to earn a living — interrupted.
After first settling in Guttenberg, Nancy and Jorge, her husband, moved to North Bergen, near her parents and three brothers. By that time, Nancy had given birth to her son, Christopher. In 2002, she started working at Palisades hospital, now part of Hackensack Meridian Health system, also in North Bergen.
One day as she walked in her hospital uniform down 72nd Street near her house, a younger woman accosted her. Zahia Zhort recognized the uniform from her time as a student intern and asked if Nancy worked at Palisades. “I’m going to go work there, too,” she declared. Nancy brushed her off. “Yeah, right,” she said. “Who are you?”
But Zahia was true to her word. When Zahia was hired as a nursing assistant at Palisades, her trainer turned out to be Nancy. The two, who became lifelong friends, loved to regale their coworkers with the story of how dismissive Nancy had been on their first encounter. by Lindy Washburn, NorthJersey.com.
Nancy became an active member of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, and a strong voice for patient safety, Zahia said. She worked in the intensive care unit at Palisades for many years before a recent transfer to the emergency department.