Longtime ‘Brack’ employee prepares for move to Dell Seton Medical Center

Maria Tappan has worked at University Medical Brackenridge since the early 80s. (KXAN Photo)
Maria Tappan has worked at University Medical Brackenridge since the early 80s. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Maria Tappan can remember the days when computers and TVs didn’t exist inside University Medical Center Brackenridge.

She started working there in the early 80s as a nurse. Now she’s the hospital’s staff coordinator for education.

“Um, I don’t remember what sleep is like,” says Tappan.

That’s because she’s in charge of educating staff on all there is to know about the new Dell Seton Medical Center. She’s been in that role for 11 years, taking any new staff at Brackenridge under her wing, teaching the layout and equipment. She’ll have the same role at Dell Seton where she, staff and patients are moving to this weekend.

“Right here is where I live,” Tappan told KXAN as she gave us a tour of what she calls her new home. Her office is on the new hospital’s 5th floor. “My office and I are coming to terms with each other,” Tappan said jokingly.

Tappan has been training and preparing staff at UMC Brackenridge for the last 18 months, all for the move across the street. She says it’s vital everything at Dell Seton Medical Center works, and that her people know how to work everything on day one to provide the best service for patients.

“It’s so exciting and scary,” Tappan said while referencing a big clock in a UMC Brackenridge lobby counting down the hours and minutes until the big move.

The scary part is learning and training others on the new technology, she says. When Tappan entered the industry, nurses and staff wrote everything down on paper, now it’s all digitally recorded. She says the new technology makes the job easier but can be overwhelming at times to learn.

  • On KXAN News Today, Jorge Rodas is LIVE from the new hospital to explain how this weekend’s move will play out

Tappan says she and staff are on top of the new tech, but says it was a lot of work getting up to speed. Tappan has been so busy she hasn’t had time to be nostalgic about the 35 years she’s spent at UMC Brackenridge.

“We did that already,” she said. “Monday we can reflect again when they won’t let us back in the building.”

Tappan says Brackenridge will always be full of memories for her—some joyous, others painful. She’s ready to make new memories at Dell Seton., grateful her colleagues are moving with her.

Maria says she’s proud of all the work she’s done at UMC Brackenridge and has enjoyed playing such a big role in the move.

“It’s an honor.”

And after 35 years at UMC Brackenridge, is she ready for 35 more at Dell Seton Medical Center?

“Yeah, but as a volunteer when I retire,” she chuckled.

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