Sunday, October 7, 2012

Nurses as Advocates...Love Your Nurse!!

They take great care of you.  They also rub your back when you need it, make you a peanut butter sandwich at 2 a.m., get you to laugh, let you cry on their shoulder, are quiet when you need them to be, know just the right trick to get your portacath to work, they run interference with that surly doctor (or complement the great doctor!).  They know things about you that you have never told anyone else.  They have been your champion since the first days of chemo. They make your clinic day or hospital stay bearable.  They help you live.  They help you when it is time to die. You rely on them.  You trust them.  You love them (and they love you too!!).  They are your NURSES!!!
Here's a shout out to all of the AMAZING nurses I have worked with in the past 32 years.  I'm not supposed to tell you where I work, so here's a vague shout out to the nurses I love and respect the most:  The nurses of 7 East and the nurses of our chemo clinic!!!

To the survivors out there....I hope that you all had the experience of having that one special nurse (or hopefully many special nurses!!) who helped you get through your rough times.

If you did have that experience, please consider nominating that nurse for a CURE Magazine Extraordinary Healer Award.   Believe me, even if she doesn't "win",  the nomination will sincerely touch your nurse's heart.

I was grateful to be nominated one year (so no, you can't nominate me again and I am not trolling for votes!!  : )).  But something really struck me that year.  CURE is a national magazine. There were only about 100 nurses nominated across the country.  I was shocked.   I know at least 100 nurses in my own hospital worthy of this award.

So, I am on a personal mission.  A lot of our patients don't have computers to do online applications to tell about their nurse.  I am starting a little campaign in our chemo clinic.  If the patient fills out their essay on paper, I will type it up and submit it online for them.  I am going to put up posters to remind patients of this contest.  Hey...the winning essay author patient/survivor wins a trip too!!

I want to see WAY more oncology nurses nominated for this award!!!!!!!  They are out there working hard everyday!!

2024 UPDATE:  When I moved to Florida, I continued my mission to get nurses nominated.  And in 2019, we had amazing results!!!

"We are SO proud to tell you that several of our nurse volunteers were nominated for this prestigious award, and one was a national finalist!!   We went to California on a road trip to attend the ceremonies.  We didn't need a national magazine to tell us that our nurse volunteers are THE BEST, but it sure was nice!!!  Please see essays from the book and event below:  

Barbara Bittner, National Finalist:  

Cindy Thornton  (Charlene's Dream
still searching for Cindy's article!!

Cindy Trawick (Genetics Counselor Advent Health Daytona Beach)

Eliani Berman (Charlene's Dream)

Here's how you can nominate YOUR oncology nurse in the future!!  There is a window for nominations that usually starts in November or December of the previous year.  Ceremony is always in the spring.

 From CURE:  "About the Contest:  
"Tell CURE about your nurse, and you both could win a trip to Washington D.C.!
Do you know an extraordinary oncology nurse whose compassion, expertise and helpfulness made all the difference in your or your loved one's cancer journey? CURE wants to know!
CURE is giving you a unique opportunity to honor an oncology nurse through the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing! Each year CURE will accept essay nominations from patients, survivors, caregivers and peers detailing the extraordinary skills that a special oncology nurse has exhibited.

Three nurse finalists and the individuals who nominated them by essay, plus one guest each, will receive round-trip airfare and two-night accommodations where they will be honored at a reception to be held in conjunction with the Oncology Nursing Society's Annual Congress. One nurse will be presented with the Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing, and will also receive a special gift in recognition of his or her service to cancer patients and survivors.
Send us your essay nomination for the chance to join CURE in honoring your oncology nurse!"

A bad nurse or even just an "okay" nurse can make your hospital stay intolerable.  A great nurse can make such a difference in your whole cancer experience.

Here is one of my fabulous nurses that I had when I had surgery this summer.  She was wonderful, full of kindness and happiness, and she had the world's greatest name.....ROSEBUD.  I kid you not!!  She was just what you would want for a nurse.  Thank you Rosebud!!  You can best believe that I will be nominating Rosebud for the CURE extraordinary healer award.

My other fabulous nurse?  I don't have a picture because I met her in the recovery room and didn't have my phone with me to take pix.  Her name?  Jane Thompson of Ellison 3 PACU.  When I met Jane, I absolutely knew that I was going to be okay.  We had a moment that I will absolutely never forget.  Thank you Jane!!!  Your mother (a nurse) would be SO proud of the amazing nurse that you are!!!

Here's to the NURSES WHO ROCK and the patients they LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!
Major kudos to this young nurse that gets it.  Use any and all tactics that you need to, to connect with a patient.

This is just a shout out for an awesome blog devoted just to cheesy vintage "nurse" romance trashy novels whose cover pix I have copied below!!  Hysterical!!

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