My Baystate Story:
Thomas Mapplebeck, RN
My name is Thomas Mapplebeck and I’m an Emergency Department (ED) nurse at Baystate Wing Hospital. I have been in healthcare in one capacity or another since I was 14-years-old beginning as a first responder with my local police department. I received my National Registry EMT in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. After leaving military service, I became a National Registered Paramedic, serving on the streets of the city of Springfield and surrounding communities for over 20 years.
I was always impressed with the nurses in the ED. I witnessed the teamwork and compassion the nurses showed when the sickest of the sick were brought to their door. They were incredible.
As my EMS career progressed, I felt as though I was missing something. I was missing being by the patient’s side and wanted to provide hands-on patient care. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to be there for not only patients, but their families as well. I was able to secure my first nursing position at Baystate Wing Hospital in 2015. It was a challenging transition from street medicine to emergency medicine and I couldn’t have done it without the support from the ED team that I now call family.
Then 2020 came - and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing prepares you for the unknown. COVID information changed daily. Our ED team and family pulled together, kept each other safe and looked out for one another. One thing that remained a constant during the pandemic was my ED family. It didn’t matter how rough the day was, we were in it together. I felt rewarded each day by the sense I made a difference in someone’s life. I was able to help a patient deal with the stress and fear of being in the ED and not knowing if a COVID patient was in the next room.
I take great pride in knowing that after being cared for, people leave our ED in better condition physically, mentally and are better educated than when they entered and that is why I became a nurse. At the end of the day, I can go home knowing I made a difference helping patients, families and coworkers.