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Extraordinary Spirit award winner (Submitted by MaryJane Toolson, Emergency Dept)
Several years ago, we had a male patient in the Emergency Department who had terminal liver disease. His significant other was with him. The couple's main concern was that he would not live long enough for them to have a church wedding.
We called Skip [Getman], our hospital chaplain, who spoke with them regarding their desire to be married and made sure all of the legalities were met. They had papers with them as to the plans they had placed into action prior to the Emergency Department visit.
With the help of Connie [Hahn], our unit secretary, and Skip, calls were made to the court house to verify all the paperwork.
Connie went home and got flowers from her garden and brought her camera. Jan [Rosen] was the nurse who assisted and signed the marriage certificate for the couple.
Mike Burdick, one of the nurses who worked with us, volunteered his singing ability, and sang an Irish wedding song for the couple.
The patient was admitted and expired two days later at Southwest.
Skip, Connie, Jan and Mike were all part of helping this couple fulfill their dream of marriage before the patient died, with chaplain, flowers, photos, maid of honor, and a private singer provided by our Emergency staff.
Extraordinary Spirit runners-up:
Submitted by Susan Ayres, Tower 7
In 1999, my husband was dying of colon cancer. He was on 3 North. His pain was out of control and the RN/CNA team that was caring for him had upset him terribly. At shift change a new RN walked in and introduced herself as Glenda Eldred, and noticed his agony. Glenda immediately made my husband a priority and got his pain under control, bathed him, and consoled him. She went above and beyond the standard of care to make him feel special and cared about. He was so grateful to her for the kindness and compassion and the relief she gave him. Glenda's compassion and calming nature brought my husband comfort and peace in his last days on this earth. It was one of his dying wishes that I find something special to do for Glenda.
Glenda is the person that talked me into pursuing the medical field and recommended me to the recruiting staff (repeatedly), until they gave me an interview! I now would like to do something special for Glenda by recognizing her excellence as a nurse, a great team member at Southwest, and a person of integrity and compassion. She is one of our shining stars at Southwest.
Submitted by Lesley Dykman, Breast Center, x6170
I currently work in the breast center as Mammography Technologist. As a technologist we are trained to take care of our patients so we were all curious when it was announced that a "nurse Navigator" would be joining our center. Not one of us could think of what she would possibly do ... as everything was always taken care of by us, the techs. Well, let me tell you that Sandra Kienitz not only impacted our department, she also has impacted our patients, our physicians and our community.
We had a young patient, in her 20s, come in with a highly suspicious lump. She was worked up and a biopsy was performed. Sandra was with her throughout her mammogram, ultrasound, and core biopsy. When the pathology came back as positive for breast cancer, Sandra called this patient's clinician and gave her the results. The clinician was very alarmed not only by the diagnosis but also by the patient's age, and as a young clinician, she had never given a diagnosis of cancer to anyone. Sandra volunteered herself to the physician and left our department, drover over to their office and met with both the clinician and patient to give her the results.
This patient gained such a positive attitude by Sandra's encouragement that she has become a warrior. She has enlisted herself as a peer volunteer as well as activist in raising money for Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer, becoming a champion in our community.
Sandra Kienitz's extraordinary spirit and nursing skills not only serve this hospital but every patient she meets.
Submitted by Krista Wilson, Care Management, x 2158
Susan Pederson - Brings Excitement - Cooperation - Kindness and willingness to our department. She always has empathy for all patients regardless of the situation. Takes on difficult cases with a great outlook and works hard daily at each patient case. She is a great coworker and teammate - She works tirelessly and never gives up on patients. She is a great example to our department.