In anticipation of National Nurses Week (May 6-May 12, 2017), Mercy Medical Center is announcing its 2017 Clinical Excellence Awards. This year themed, Celebrating Nurses Who Lead the Charge for Health and Wellness, National Nurses’ Week recognizes the important role nurses play in health care. As part of the annual celebration, Mercy will honor four nurses who have been selected for exceptional clinical skills, teaching abilities, communication skills, teamwork and professionalism.
“Year after year, the public ranks nursing the most trusted profession in Gallup polls,” says Barbara Yingling, Mercy vice president and chief nursing officer. “Mercy nurses provide a very high level of caring for our patients and families—despite the demands they experience in their careers. It’s essential for our nurses to also seek a personal balance of mind, body and spirit, and the nurses’ week theme reminds us they also need to care for themselves.”
Sam Hutchison, RN, BSN, CCRN
Cardiovascular Special Care Unit
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AS MERCY’S 2017 CAMEO OF CARING RECIPIENT
A resident of Strasburg, Ohio, Sam Hutchison says he was 19 years old when he felt called to the field of nursing. “I had never given nursing a thought, but one morning, I woke up and knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he says.
Sam adds that he wants to make a difference in people’s lives, and he loves to make people smile. “If you treat people with respect and dignity, it’s amazing to see the effect you can have on them,” says Sam.
He earned his bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Akron in 1991. He is CCRN certified and a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. He is also a preceptor and mentor to new employees in Mercy’s Special Care Unit.
“Sam is my go-to person for orienting new employees,” says Susan Kress, clinical manager. “He is so patient and does everything possible to make sure new staff receives an excellent orientation. He is a good source of knowledge and will help find answers to questions by bringing in reference materials and by using hands-on teaching.”
Organization is another one of Sam’s strengths. “Sam has such excellent time management skills that he is always available to help his fellow employees,” Kress says.
Sam is also a great communicator with patients, family members and physicians. He is consistently mentioned during leader rounding as someone providing great care to his patients.
“Nursing is a career where I feel we can truly have a positive influence on others,” Sam says. “I have two young boys, and I attempt to teach them that no matter what you do in life, do it to the best of your ability.” Sam is leading by example, as he is being recognized as one of the best in the nursing field.
Barb Lamp, RN, (posthumously)
9 Main Medical
According to Mindy Demyan, clinical manager of 9 Main, Barb Lamp, RN, a Mercy nurse for 25 years, touched the lives of many people and made an impression on everyone she came in contact with. Barb, a resident of Perry Heights in Massillon who died on March 10, 2017, is greatly missed by co-workers, friends, and the family she loved with all her heart.
“Barb was a true asset to Mercy,” says Mindy. “When her name is mentioned, the thoughts that come to mind include her upbeat attitude, her smile when she would greet you, and her compassion for her patients.”
Barb was known for her pleasant and calm demeanor, hard work, organization, willingness to help, and critical thinking. A charge nurse and a preceptor for new nursing employees, she was certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and involved in unit practice council and hospital committees to improve patient outcomes.
Mindy notes that Barb spoke of her family often. “Her face would glow when talking about her family. You could feel the love and pride she felt for them.”
She adds, “Barb was more than just a nurse, but also a friend that cared about the people she worked with. She cared about her Mercy family and would work extra shifts and provide a listening ear. She had the patience to mentor new nurses, giving them the time to blossom, to develop, to grow and to mature. She showed them the true meaning of nursing. She was an inspiration to all.”
Jennifer Meyer, RN, BSN
Cardiac Care Unit (CCU)
Jennifer Meyer did not start college as a nursing major, but she believes things happen for a reason. The daughter of Suzanne Meyer, RN, PACU, a nurse with more than 40 years of experience at Mercy, Jennifer describes her mom as an inspiration.
She says, “Now that I am a nurse, I do love caring and helping the patients and their families. I love providing support through the healing process and hopefully seeing them get better, knowing I made a difference. I could not imagine myself doing anything else.”
A resident of Perry Heights in Massillon and a CCU nurse for 15 years, Jennifer is part of the unit’s mentoring program. Susan Kress, clinical manager, calls Jennifer an excellent mentor and resource for CCU precepting.
“Jenn has excellent communication skills with families, patients, doctors, and co-workers,” says Susan. “She is one of my go-to preceptors. I know if I have her orient a new staff member, they will get everything they need to be successful in the CCU. While caring for her patients, she will see trends in labs and notify physicians and will seek help from others if she is uncertain about something. Jenn also looks ahead and notices small things before they grow into critical issues. Always organized and researching the latest evidence-based practices, she practices hourly rounding and bedside shift report to provide the ultimate patient experience. “
One patient Jennifer says she will never forget happened to be the father of a friend who came to Mercy in full cardiac arrest. “I took care of him for three or four days in a row through hypothermia and waking up,” says Jennifer. “He was extubated by the fourth day and is now a healthy man!”
Working towards clinical ladder, Jennifer volunteers to complete the schedule for CCU nurses and fills in as charge nurse as needed.
Judy Randles, RN
Regional Rehabilitation Unit
For Judy Randles, RN, CRRN, a Mercy Rehab nurse since 2013, nursing is a second career. For 23 years, she managed a jewelry store. When it closed, she decided to enter nursing school.
“It’s the best decision I ever made,” says Judy, a resident of North Canton. “I love people, and I love being able to make a difference in people’s lives. In rehab, we have our patients long enough to get to know them and have a positive influence.”
Ann Almasy, clinical manager, Mercy Regional Rehabilitation Center, says Judy promotes Mercy’s mission through her words and actions. “Judy treats the patients and their families with respect, kindness, and compassion,” Ann says. “She takes the extra time, no matter how busy she is, to meet the patient’s needs. She talks to them and really listens to their concerns. Her work has been recognized on numerous occasions by the patients, families, coworkers, and managers.”
Chosen by peers as the first monthly Star Performer of the Rehab Unit and “most cheerful and nurse with the most positive attitude” during National Nurses’ Week last year, Judy is a Clinical Ladder Level 3 participant and a member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
Judy remembers one patient in particular—a man in his late 50s who had been fighting reoccurring benign brain tumors for years. Because of his length of stay, staff members became very close to the patient and his family.
“When he was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer, we loved and supported them through the most trying time of their lives,” says Judy. “The tumor was found early, resulting in a good prognosis, and we saw him improve by leaps and bounds. By the end of his stay, he was walking the halls with a cane, and we proudly sent him home after many hugs and tears.”
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