Rudolph Bud Buzzard, RN-CIS

As a young emergency department nurse, I was fortunate enough to be working in the Jackson Memorial Hospital Emergency Department as the final touches were being placed on Ryder Trauma Center in 1992. It was scheduled to open in August of that year, and many of my friends and mentors were waiting to move to their new positions on opening day. Driven by their encouragement, I decided to make the move myself – a move that would change my life forever. Little did we know then that Ryder Trauma would have an auspicious start when Hurricane Andrew set its devastating sights on South Florida. Within a few weeks of its opening, the Ryder Trauma was forced to hit the ground running, and it has not missed a beat in the 25 years since.

Hurricane Andrew provided a poignant and unique perspective into human tragedy for all of us. Interacting with patients as they arrived, we found many to be more concerned about family, friends, pets, and property than with their own critical injuries.

The stories only intensified our own fears for our families and friends riding out the storm without us as we cared for the injured patients. I was never so proud of the people I worked with than I was during the storm’s aftermath.

The teamwork was incredible, and being there for the patients, as well as one another, created a lifelong bond.

Ryder Trauma would provide the backdrop for an adventure of a lifetime. Trauma care requires a blending of professionals from many disciplines working together toward a common goal – the preservation of life. I always equate the flow of a trauma room to a fine symphony. Individuals contributing specific parts in concert with other team members, creating a beautiful event that can be appreciated by all. The choreographed movements, flowing at high speed at times and slowing as needed to accommodate any given situation.

Through the years, Jackson always found ways to bring in visionary personnel to keep Ryder Trauma at the forefront of modern, trauma care. That level of commitment from Jackson afforded me the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the greatest clinical minds in the world. My experience and knowledge base flourished through interactions with these top-notch clinicians.

During my more than 24 years at Ryder Trauma, I functioned in many roles, including trauma nurse, clinical educator, and associate nurse manager. I recently moved into a new role as a clinical informatics specialist in the Information Technology Division. I am humbled anytime I think of all of the talented doctors, nurses, and support staff I had the opportunity to work with. I am most thankful that I was given a chance to train and nurture new staff and play a role in the future of Ryder Trauma through them. I have always felt that my legacy was to prepare those future innovators to continue to push the envelope of quality trauma care.

Words cannot express how proud I am to be a part of Jackson and Ryder Trauma. I look forward to the future knowing that the memories will never fade and the overwhelming swell of pride will always come. My years at Ryder Trauma are truly embedded in my DNA. Rudolph Bud Buzzard, RN-CIS Clinical Informatics Specialist Information Technology Division.