Carrie Bennett

Oct. 25, 2021
Carrie Bennett sewed hats for her colleagues, offering protection and comfort. Photo by UCHealth.

Nurse sews hats to protect colleagues

As COVID-19 hospitalizations began to surge in fall 2020, Carrie Bennett bought a new sewing machine and started watching YouTube how-to videos.

“I would just buy fabric, cut, iron and sew,” said the charge nurse with the surgical progressive care unit (SPCU) at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies.

Her project: making scrub caps for her colleagues. In her spare time at home, Bennett sewed over 100 hats, wrapped them in little packages, put them in a box and left it in a break room for anyone to take.

“These hand-crafted works of art not only helped protect her co-workers while working with patients with COVID-19 but provided comfort while wearing respirators,” SPCU Nurse Allison Krynski said. “The scrub caps also brought joy to staff and some fun back to the bedside with the beautiful patterns she used.”

Bennett purchased colorful fabrics from a local store, occasionally taking design requests, such as a favorite football team. Some hats were specially fitted to accommodate ponytails or longer hair. Nurses, patient care technicians, respiratory therapists and other health care professionals wore them at work.

“It’s fun PPE,” Bennett said. “It covers you so you don’t get COVID in your hair.”

Krynski said Bennett is attentive to her colleagues’ needs and always offers to help, such as by assisting with patient care, responding to call lights and passing out medications.

Bennett, a nurse for 15 years – five at MCR – is pursuing a master of nursing leadership and management from Western Governors University. Her nursing career began after she worked with a friend in the kitchen of a nursing home; she started as a PCT, advancing to LPN and RN as she earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

Before she got the sewing machine, Bennett would crochet baby blankets for pregnant colleagues.

“I love doing activities, crafts and things,” she said. “I just find it a challenge, and I like to teach myself.”

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About the author

Robert Allen loves meeting new people and learning their stories, and he's continually inspired by the patients, staff and providers he meets at UCHealth.

A journalist for 12 years, he joined UCHealth after reporting and editing at the Detroit Free Press. He is the author of Fading Ads of Detroit, a book exploring connections between classic Detroit brands — from Carhartt to Mac-O-Lac Paints to the Detroit Tigers — found on ghost signs and the personal histories of Detroit residents. He previously reported for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Summit Daily News and Montrose Daily Press.

His outdoor adventures include scrambling summits, hunting powder stashes via snowboard and taking a three-week winter rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. The Oklahoma State University graduate lives in Fort Collins with his wife, Rachel, and their obstinate pug, Darla.