What can working in the unpredictable ICU prepare you for? Mady Howard says it helped train her to be a ninja warrior.
This month, Howard, an ICU nurse at Intermountain Healthcare’s Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, advanced to the “American Ninja Warrior” finals in Las Vegas and the chance at winning the $1 million grand prize. The first of four episodes of the finals will be broadcast 8 p.m. ET Aug. 26 on NBC.
While her collegiate career as a gymnast helped her physically, she credits the intense experiences in the ICU for mentally preparing her for the challenge of the reality competition show.
Howard and other contestants don’t get to practice on the course. Their first time on the course is in front of an audience where they must make split-second decisions in high-pressure situations, much like an ICU nurse.
“I have to rely on my training,” she said. “You have to be flexible and go with the flow.”
In the ICU, Howard has seen that life can change in a heartbeat and that it’s anything but secure, which propelled her to live life to the fullest. “Life can change so quickly and it motivated me to not stand still and be grateful for every moment I have.”
Howard said finding another passion outside of her grueling 12-hour shifts has helped her become a better healthcare provider. “Having that outlet brings me fulfillment. When I feel better about myself, I can take better care of patients,” she said.
Howard isn’t the only determined athlete at Intermountain. CEO Dr. Marc Harrison has competed in about 150 triathlons, seven of them Ironman competitions.