When, on April 29, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation recognizing May as Nurses Month in Washington, he added to a growing worldwide chorus of recognition and praise for nurses and the critical role they play in our healthcare system and in combating COVID-19.
“Every nurse everywhere should take enormous pride in our profession. Every day, we provide the medical care that saves lives, relieves anxiety, and helps people confront medical challenges,” said UW School of Nursing Executive Dean Azita Emami in a blog post about the proclamation—calling nurses “masters of modern medical technology” whose ability to “bridge…complicated medical language and the patient who just wants to understand what’s wrong and what can be done to make it better” makes them “the most trusted profession in America.”
It’s with nurses’ unflagging energy and efforts in mind that we invite you to celebrate National Nurses Day with us today, the beginning of National Nurses Week which will culminate on May 12, and National Nurses Month, daily coverage of which you can follow in full here.
Today and in the next weeks, we want to recognize and celebrate all nurses: from those drawing on decades of experience to serve and heal patients through these tumultuous times to the UW nursing students who have recently joined front line efforts to battle COVID-19.
Inspired by the UW School of Nursing’s documentation of the outstanding efforts and stories of Husky Nurses on the front lines of COVID-19 at hospitals, clinics and ERs, we decided to ask nurses and staff across UW Medicine to highlight their own heroes. Read their commendations below and then send us your own so we can be sure to share it!
If you’re a nurse, don’t miss The Whole U’s Code Lavender page of wellness resources for ways to enhance your mental and physical strength as you continue to care for your patients. Whether you complete a short workout, listen to a playlist, or do a 5-minute meditation, it is crucial to call a Code Lavender and take the time for self care. Thank you!
From Nicki McCraw, Assistant Vice President, Medical Center Human Resources Operations:
“I have watched our nurses, day in and day out, provide the highest possible care to our patients and their families during the 13 years I have worked at UW Medicine. Every day they serve with unparalleled compassion, dedication and passion. I didn’t think I could possibly be more proud of them until I watched them step up to serve our community during the current COVID pandemic. You guys are simply the best!”
Recognition from UWMC Montlake Campus
From Cindy Sayre, Chief Nursing Officer:
“UWMC nurses at both campuses have responded to the COVID-19 public health crisis with courage and compassion. We recognize our nursing teams for their clinical expertise, extraordinary communication skills and steadfast determination in ensuring that every patient receives the very best care possible. Nurses are lifelines to their patients and we are so grateful for their service!”
From Catherine Daly:
“I think the team on 5E definitely deserves some recognition this nurses’ week! I could not imagine a better team to work with through all of this–everyone has been extremely flexible and supportive throughout this really difficult time. It is amazing to see the resilience and optimism in our team and also know that we have people we can trust to cry with and mourn with.”
From Kelly Scott, Manager of Neurosurgery:
“I would like to recognize Enedina Dumas’s incredible leadership, support and dedication to screening. She works tirelessly to problem-solve the many one-off incidents, puts solutions into place and communicates changes quickly. I don’t think she has had a day off in a long time; she’s the true definition of the energy bunny. I value her in this role and appreciate all that she does to help us as screeners!”
From Diane Wolfson, Manager of 6SA, Medical ICU:
“I would like to acknowledge every nurse on 6SA for their constant ability to keep rolling with the changes EVERY SINGLE DAY! They have truly gone above and beyond in their willingness to take infection prevention to the HIGHEST level. They will correct each other with PPE donning/doffing in order to protect their peers and keep our patient’s safe. 6SA is not just a team, but a FAMILY, and I am blessed and fortunate to work alongside each one of them. Happy Nurses Week!”
Recognition from UWMC
From Leslie Hampton, MN, RN, Assistant Administrator, Professional Practice, PFCC, UWMC:
“I’d like to recognize the amazing Clinical Nurse Educators and Clinical Nurse Specialists this year at Nurses Week. At both campuses, the teams pulled together rapidly, and worked together seamlessly, to get PPE education up an running for all of our disciplines at UWMC. They worked around the clock, checking on staff, rounding on units, and teaching in a professional, engaging and careful way to protect the safety of our staff at all levels.
“The creativity, teamwork, and empathy they showed to the staff and to each other during this incredibly stressful time, and I couldn’t be more impressed or grateful!!”
From Molly B Jackson, MD, FACP, Assistant Dean for the Colleges, Cascade College, University of Washington School of Medicine:
“I’m writing to appreciate 3 of the outstanding nurses on 6NE nursing station at UWMC: Betty Campell, RN; Christy Vogt, RN; Matt McNulty, RN
“Betty is wise, experienced, thoughtful and calm. She is highly professional in all interactions, and has a ‘glow’ of deep compassion and empathy about her. She is steady, supportive and caring – and thinks in such a ‘big picture’ way about [patients’] condition and needs, offering the grace and patience that [are] so deeply needed. I always feel grateful when I get to share in the care of patients with her and know I will learn something from her experience and approach to care.
“Christy is a bright light on 6NE. She is always ready with a smile, is reliable and hard working, and incredibly experienced. She maintains an even keel when things get stressful in patient care, and she always has warmth and compassion for her patients and colleagues. She’s a leader and a friend to so many of us who have worked on 6NE for many years!
“Matt is a jovial, steady, reliable and hard working contributor on 6NE. Whether he’s working directly with patients or providing leadership as the charge nurse, he’s practical, kind, collaborative and calm. His warm smile and greetings when I arrive in the morning on ward rounds are always so appreciated.”
UW Medicine-Northwest Campus
From Stephanie Covel, RN, CNS:
“Erin McCauley, OSC OR RN has been amazing lately. Erin strongly supported the house in her role as dofficer and transporter since the Covid-19 response began. Now Erin has been pulled back into the OR and supporting care of Covid-19 patients, still in the roll of dofficer. In the midst of this pandemic Erin has a calm demeanor, obviously cares deeply for her colleagues and takes great care in getting them donned/doffed in PPE. In normal times, Erin supports the department practice counsels, is a leader at OSC, flexes into roles as charge nurse and service coordinator without complaint and fosters a family-like atmosphere.”
From Raman Singh, Interim RN3, Surgical Services:
“Cindy Christopher is very flexible and helpful. She has been a great dofficer on the floors. She always accepts the challenges and start working on them. She has been a role model to many OR nurses. I saw the staff reaching to her with issues and she is always available for them.” To which Stephanie Covel adds: “Cindy is an experienced nurse who supports newer staff, helps opening with orientation, brings up issues to managers with humility and has remained engaged throughout the pandemic.”
“Carol Trask is very task orienting and flexible. She is a great preceptor for our new consortium nurses. She remains calm in every stressful situation.” To which Stephanie Covel adds: “Carol is another very experienced nurse who loves challenges in the OR and strives to keep her patients and colleagues safe. Carol is amazing at collaborating with our interdisciplinary team and is a ‘surgeon whisperer.'”
From Keri Nasenbeny:
“I would like to recognize all the nurses who work at UWMC-NW, they are an amazing team who has leaned into this crisis and risen to the occasion! From our staff who work in the COVID units to our nurses from the OR who have worked at trained observers to our ED RNs on the frontlines to our nurse managers and education team who have supported our staff, EVERYONE has brought their best self to work every day and given their all to support our patients, family and community! I couldn’t be prouder to work with such incredibly committed, caring and thoughtful nurses, they deserve this week and so much more! From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
From Lacey Cone, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager of the Medical Telemetry Unit:
“I would like to appreciate the 5th floor for being so adaptable during this change. The whole unit was turned upside down and usually when people are faced with change they cope by exhibiting negative behaviors. This team banded together, remained positive and became closer as a unit. They kept the patients and families at the forefront of everything they did and I’ve never been more proud of a group of healthcare professionals.”
From Michele Owen, RN Manager:
“I would like to recognize the following people who stepped up and took over the Bossifer AND the PPE role and supported and coordinated the dofficers through out the house and brought any concerns to the right departments for attention. While several staff from the float pool where put into the Bossifer role there were four staff that were used more frequently and were remarkable. They are Jill Litwiller and Julieta Delos Reyes on days and Jaclyn Elamparo and Kristi Schormann on nights.
“They did everything: ran the shift change Huddles keeping the Dofficers updated on changes, assured that all Dofficers were present and if not notified the appropriate manager and the House Supervisor that replacements were needed. They assessed the performance of each Dofficer on shift and worked to solve any concerns they had. They made sure each Dofficer had their breaks. They made sure that each unit had the PPE they needed and that they were utilizing them appropriately. They communicated with each other across shifts to assure continuity. It was because of the performance of these nurses that our PPE program has been such a huge success.”
Via Suzanne White, RN, MSN, MPH, CMSRN, Assistant Director of Nursing Operations:
Marita Cantrell, Deborah Buck, Laurie Kuypers, and Alanna Chapin honor:
Corazon Morales, RN, who works in the Outpatient Surgery Center, NW Campus, has guided the outpatient surgery center through some tough times recently when the unit was between managers. Her joie de vivre and her encouragement for the surgery center staff gave us a renewed outlook on some of those difficult days. Her technical skills as a nurse keep her in high demand within the department. Patients know that when she is coming to start their IV, they have the best of the best. As an old RN recently in a new department, she made me feel welcomed and appreciated. She helped me assess my own strengths and weaknesses, then assisted me in bridging the gaps for proficiency and excellence, through demonstration, verbal instruction, and written information, all while providing encouragement and assurance of my abilities. Corazon always is cheerful and energetic! She tirelessly helps both the OSC OR and DSU departments in troubleshooting and filling in to help. She stands behind and supports all of her staff 100%. She is also a great resource for many difficult questions. We love working with her. Plus, she sings.
Marcos San Martin honors:
Kate Kurko, RN, who works in 2E Post Day Surgery, NW Campus. I’ve known Kate for the last 3 years, I had the privilege to work besides her and she is an outstanding nurse, preceptor, charge nurse and teacher. Kate has worked in the 2E inpatient unit. She welcomes every new employee as 2E used to be the safety unit. She will often have preceptees, sometimes back to back, she would never complain about it. I amrecognizing Kate because of her commitment and passion for teaching and training new employees. She truly displays what every leader wants in their team. She is always positive; she has great qualities as a leader when she is charge nurse. She is assertive when one of her trainees need more time or needs improvement, she is a resource to anyone that comes into her unit. She truly deserves to be recognized! I am so glad she is part of this amazing team at UWMC-Northwest!
Kathryna Ta Asan honors:
Linda Bakkala, RN, who works in the ICU, RN3, NW Campus, is always helping everyone, pleasant, respectful and makes our day better every time we work with her!
Diane Nitta honors:
Michelle Kimura, RN, who works in Geropsychiatry, RN3, NW Campus is a compassionate, caring nurse and individual. Her professionalism shows in her care of patients and in her interactions with staff and family members. She assists others with patience, kindness, and respect, while she also diligently completes her administrative duties. Michelle has a calming effect on others; her presence allows us to feel confident that when problems arise. She is an invaluable resource.