By Jonesa Rodriguez - May 10, 2021
National Nurses Week is dedicated to honoring nurses around the globe for their hard work, dedication and compassionate care they put into serving patients every day. At Moffitt Cancer Center, the annual Nursing Excellence Award ceremony is held during Nurses Week to honor nurses throughout the cancer center for the remarkable service they provide to patients and the passion they put into the work.
The Nursing Excellence Award is given to nurses who truly reflect nurse theorist Dr. Joanne Duffy’s Eight Caring Factors - mutual problem solving, human respect, encouraging manner, attentive reassurance, appreciation of unique meaning, healing environment, basic human needs and affiliation needs. There are seven categories and the recipients are nominated by their fellow teammates.
2021 Excellence in Magnetism Award Winners – Supportive Care Clinic
This team demonstrates exemplary professional practice every day at Moffitt through their initiative of the "Caring Carts." The interdisciplinary team filled the carts with handmade, donated and team member-purchased patient care and support items to help alleviate the physical, emotional and spiritual burdens of patients and families. Items included gloves, socks, blankets, neck pillows, pillboxes, lotion, Chapstick and more. During routine clinic visits, the registered nurse would perform a brief tailored quality of life assessment to detect specific challenges that could be reduced with tangible or symbolic items to supplement other care interventions. The structural empowerment of this nurse-driven initiative engages team members to further contribute to Moffitt’s vision, enhancing patient-centered care and utilizing Duffy’s Caring Factors. Patients and family members reported high satisfaction with the team’s clarification of their challenges, attention to their needs and demonstration of respect for their concerns.
2021 Excellence in Nursing Education Award Winner - Valerie Burke
During the beginning of COVID-19, maintaining social distance was a must for safety. Valerie had to brainstorm and explore alternatives in little time for nursing orientation. Valerie revised nursing orientation and used innovative ways to deliver the foundation of new hire education for nurses, oncology techs and medical assistants in the virtual platform. She is dedicated to teaching. She has the willingness to put in the necessary time to assist learners who failed electrocardiography courses and give them resources to understand the content and instills confidence for team members to succeed. Valerie develops relationships with the new hires coming to Moffitt by exemplifying patience, strong communication skills and a kind personality.
2021 Excellence in Nursing Management Award Winner – Renee Simpson
Over the last year of the pandemic, Renee has worked tirelessly to ensure the best staffing in her power to provide quality care for Moffitt patients. Being the only unit to consistently accommodate COVID-19 positive patients, she has spent numerous hours working at the bedside herself to care for patients. Renee often resolves complex patient care issues for families dealing with end of life by providing the foundation of mutual problem solving. Some families have had to say goodbye to loved ones via a virtual platform during the pandemic, although difficult, her promotion of integration and use of iPads to facilitate these family interactions shows the principles of basic human respect. Renee creates an expectation of her staff to provide an encouraging manner by holding them accountable to being open to the family’s point of view. She promotes and supports staff to achieve advanced degrees and national certifications. Renee is a role model for how to humbly lead a dynamic group of individuals forward through one of the most difficult times in history with style and grace.
2021 Accredited Preceptor of the Year Award Winner – Sarah Hart
Sarah has been a stalwart preceptor to new nurses in the Genitourinary clinic. Before the nurse arrives, Sarah meets with the manager and goes over her plan for precepting the nurse. Upon meeting the new nurse, she takes the time to learn of their background and experiences. She takes what she learned and uses it to tailor her approach to ensure she meets the unique needs of her preceptee. Sarah demonstrates attentive reassurance by thoroughly listening to all questions and concerns. She encourages everyone to use their style when interacting with patients and is always there if anyone needs assistance. She provides well-constructed feedback for the preceptee, as well as solicit feedback for herself to continuously improve her skills. Sarah truly demonstrates Duffy's Caring Factors.
2021 Excellence in Patient-Centered Care Award Winner – Jennifer Germroth
Jennifer is always gentle and calm with her patients. She puts the patient's emotions first. She is very thorough when explaining and educating them yet has no hesitation in asking other nurses for help and guidance when it is needed. Jennifer also lives by the teach-back method to make sure patients understand their treatment. She receives many compliments from patients and family members and is a true patient advocate. Jennifer ensures that all patients and their families are treated with dignity and respect.
2021 Excellence in a Unique Role Award Winner – Kalie Craven
Kalie contributes to the improvement of patient care by supporting and improving the electronic health record. She has been vital to projects deployed in 2020, such as curbside care, which allowed for patients to receive certain medications and infusions without leaving their car. Kalie has also worked on the tobacco cessation project, which helps identify patients who want assistance to quit smoking and partners them with a smoking cessation coach. Kalie constantly demonstrates Duffy's appreciation of unique meanings by keeping patient and family member's unique when assisting in the development of projects to support patient care. She also shows human respect at the forefront when leading out on projects, she maintains patients' rights and responsibilities.
2021 Caring Story Award Winner - Mary Coombs
The Clinical Exemplar is a caring story that tells how the interactions and care of a patient or their family exhibits patient and family-centered care. It is reflective of Duffy's Caring Factor. This year's winner Registered Nurse Mary Coombs shared her story about a patient she cared for with Down Syndrome. Because of COVID-19 visitor restrictions, this patient had to stay at Moffitt for a month with limited visitation. Mary took an opportunity to think outside the box and meet the unique needs of this patient. Mary's story led to her selection because of her compassion and her will to make sure the patient had a comfortable stay while at the cancer center.