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Most Memorable Mentor: Nurses Week

Robin DealRobin Deal, BSN, RN, CCE is the Perinatal Services Manager at UNC REX Healthcare and has over 37 years of nursing experience in Women’s Health. She is the proud “Nana” of two little girls and expecting a grandson in September.

Happy Nurses Week!

Several years ago, ADVANCE for Nurses encouraged their readers to write about their most memorable mentor. “Mentors play an important role in the lives of nurses. Whether they inspire you to choose this profession or provide you with advice and guidance along the way, they are the ones who make a difference in our lives. More than 250 submitted their stories telling about that special person that made a difference in their career. These stories made it clear the nursing profession is full of compassionate and caring individuals that not only care about patients but each other as well.

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During Nurses Week, it is nice to reflect on the individuals who have influenced and supported us in our profession. Here is the story of the individual they chose as their Most Memorable Mentor.

“Louise” has been an outstanding mentor. Not only has she been my mother but a shining example of what a nurse should be and my inspiration to dedicate my life to nursing. As a little girl I remember the care and concern she showed to the patients of Dr. Bob. She took care of babies, kids, and adults with compassion and care. She retired in 1992 but families still see her in the community and say “I remember when you took care of me as a child” or “you took care of my mother when she was sick.” Her dedication to her profession, her passion to do a good job, and her understanding and care for people not only was present in the hospital and office where she worked, but she took it into the community into her church and her family. In 1973 when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, she wore her “mom” hat but dedicated herself to care for me while in the hospital and through radiation therapy. She coached me through nursing school and was always willing to talk “shop” and encourage me. Even when she retired she worked in the local Medical Ministries organization to assist physicians in providing free medical care to indigent patients in the community. Then in 2003, she took on her most difficult nursing job ever. She put her excellent nursing skills and sent her compassion into overdrive all over again when she cared for my sister who had been diagnosed with a very aggressive glioblastoma. She and my dad spent 7 months in Texas (they live in NC) as primary care givers for my sister until she died. In a truly very difficult personal situation, she advocated, cared for, and grieved for her oldest daughter with dignity, compassion and love that she has shown to thousands of people over the years. Her dedication and inspiration to her profession truly served as a mentor for me and every day I try to live my career in the same way I have witnessed such an outstanding nurse over 54 years. Louise is truly a shining star for Nursing and always will be.

This week, take time to remember those who have influenced you as a nurse. Be proud of the nurse you are and the wonderful care and compassion you provide to your patients, their families and to each other. Thank you for all that you do and the influence you have on others as mentors.

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A Gift of Song

Searching for ways to give back to new mothers, fathers, and families at the REX Women’s Center, UNC REX postpartum nurse, Meghan Presnell, RN, teamed up with eleven co-workers to create an album of lullabies.

Meghan Presnell’s love for music always thrived in her heart. At the age of 20, she launched a career as a country music singer in Nashville, Tennessee. For two and half years, she and her band wrote, produced, and performed their own music together.

Upon her engagement to her now husband, she decided to start a new life and career in North Carolina.

Meghan Presnell, RN“I found a love for nursing – I’m passionate about women and children’s health and those were the type of patients I wanted to work with,” says Presnell, who graduated from the University of North Carolina.

Presnell, who was born at UNC REX, knew exactly where she wanted to start her new career as a health professional.

Over the past three years of working at the hospital, Presnell witnessed and cherished many unique moments at the REX Women’s Center.

“We see births ever day in the work that we do, but we have to step back and remember, for the women we serve, that this is one of the biggest highlights of their lives,” says Presnell.

Searching for ways to celebrate new mothers, fathers, and family members at the birthing center, Presnell thought about collaborating with her fellow co-workers to create a music album.

“We wanted to show families at UNC REX that we are also thankful to be a part of the most incredible part of their life,” Presnell says, who was one of the leading coordinators of the lullaby project. “What better way to give back than by giving them the gift of song!”

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After suggesting the project to her nursing managers, Wanda Adams, RN, and Tanya Creek,RN, the pair immediately latched onto the idea and connected Presnell with staff leadership.

This Mother’s Day, families and medical staff will hear the first-ever lullaby album, ‘What a Busy Day,’ sung by UNC REX co-workers and volunteers.

Laurie Cain, RNAccording to one project member, Laurie Cain, RN, the album will be beneficial for life at home and at work.

“With the hearing screening program, babies are screened on their first day of life and they have to be very calm in order to get through the test successfully,” Cain says, a child birth educator and infant massage instructor.

“To lull the infants to sleep, I sometimes sing lullabies. Now, I use new material we learned from the project, like the Braum’s lullaby and it works great!” Cain continues.

Though a majority of the singers and instrumentalists carry strong backgrounds in music, this project taught the group’s piano player Chris Morris new aspects about studio production.

“Because we were recording these songs in layers, it was an experience that I wasn’t quite used to at first,” says Morris, a child passenger safety technician at UNC REX. “Since then, if I listen to a song now, I have a better understanding of how music is created,” Morris continues.

Chris MorrisThe group had to review more than 100 songs in order to find seven that worked well with the project’s theme and were affordable to obtain due to licensing rights. Once the song choices were finalized in February, the album’s producer John Carlson began rehearsing with the group. Towards the end of April, several days were spent in the studio to record, mix, and master.

Presnell, Morris, and Cain believe this album is a solid representation of how an employee-driven initiative can spawn into a meaningful work of art.

“I described this album once as a love project and that’s what it is – you had to love it and be invested in it. It took up a lot of time and you have to love it to do that and I think you’ll hear it in the finished product.”


img-rex-birthcenter-cdcoverProduced by: John William Carlson and Blue Yonder Media

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by: Bunker Sound Productions

Song performers:
Laurie Cain
Helen Dobbins
Claire Fitzpatrick
Mark Hackett
Sylvia Hackett
Chris Morris
Meghan Presnell
Joel Ray
Abby Schiller

You can purchase your copy in the REX Gift Shop for only $5. All proceeds from the sales of this CD go to the REX Healthcare Foundation to support the Women’s and Children’s fund. You can also order a CD by sending an email request or by calling 919-784-4424.

 

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2015 Great 100 Nurses

Rex is proud of Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services, Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services, and Rosemary Hill, RN BSN, Special Care Nursery, Women’s & Children’s Services, for being selected for this year’s list of the Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina. The prestigious list recognizes registered nurses for their outstanding professional abilities and commitment to improving health care in their communities. The list is compiled by The Great 100 Inc., a grassroots, peer recognition organization that honors the nursing profession in North Carolina.

In honor of their accolade, we asked Sheri and Fadwa to share what being a Great 100 nurse means to them.

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services:

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Many months ago, my supervisor let me know she was nominating me for the Great 100.  I was grateful for the confidence and trust that she had in me and humbled by her wanting to take the time to fill out the application.

Last month, I got notification in the mail that I had been selected to be one of 2015 Great 100 nurses.  I was excited that I was selected.  I was excited that I could represent not only myself, but nursing in Women’s and Children’s, and nursing at Rex.

As the news spread to my friends, family, and colleagues that I had been selected, the kind words and comments that have come my way have been overwhelming.  People I didn’t even know very well were congratulating me.  People who did know me well gave me words of praise.  My colleagues were as excited as I was. It was like having a celebration every day at work.  Most humbling of all were the words of praise from some of the families I have worked with over the years.

I am more appreciative of my role in helping new families than ever before.  I wish every nurse could hear the words of appreciation, support, and praise that I have heard since being named a Great 100 nurse.  I have never been prouder of being a nurse.

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services:

Fadwa Bousliman, RN

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN

I started working on Three West eight years ago as a foreign nurse, struggling with her communication skills. My assets were a big heart and a sense of humor. I was determined to make my patients’ lives a little better, at least during my shift. I have been fortunate to work with a great team and a wonderful manager; they inspired, directed, and encouraged me. Since then I have grown to become the go-to person on my unit.

I never dreamed that I would win any award. I certainly wasn’t doing anything for it – I was doing my job, a job that I love. When my manager, Janice Laurore, informed me that she nominated me for the Great 100 Nurses for North Carolina award, I was thrilled. It’s meaningful to know that someone believes you are good enough to deserve an award. I told my manager that being nominated is a win in itself.

When I got the letter confirming that I was selected as a Great 100 Nurse, I was ecstatic. I called my manager on her cellphone to inform her. We were screaming on the phone like teenagers! Winning this award has taught me that with hard working anything is possible. It motivated me to do an even better job.

Words cannot express how happy and proud I am to receive this award. I feel valued and appreciated. I am deeply thankful and grateful for this award.

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina's Great 100 Nurses

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina’s Great 100 Nurses

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Nurses Appreciation Week: The Heart of Nursing

Robin DealRobin Deal, BSN, RN, CCE is the Perinatal Services Manager for Lactation Services at Rex and has over 36 years of nursing experience in women’s health.

For the last eight years, I have served as an online mentor where middle or high school students can submit questions about nursing careers.  Most often they want to know about courses to take, degrees required, hours, salary, and many other aspects of the job itself.  My goal is to answer their questions but also provide encouragement to pursue their dreams whatever they are.  So I found it reflective this “Nurses Week” to receive a question that I think gets to the heart of nursing “What is it like to care for people?”

What a great question!  This question was one no student had asked before so it got me to thinking about what one quality nurses possess that identifies the “heart of nursing.”  While there are many wonderful characteristics that help define nursing, I think the one quality that reaches far above any other is caring.

042714_Robin_baby3There have been some wonderful nurse mentors in my career that have demonstrated this quality beyond measure.  My own mother, now retired, has demonstrated that attribute.  Today at 84-years-old, people frequently come up to her and thank her for the many years she “cared for them” or their family as patients of the family doctor where she worked for over 36 years.  They use the word “care” or some form of it to define what she meant to them. Even in retirement she worked in the local Medical Ministries organization to assist physicians in providing free medical care to indigent patients in the community.  She truly has a “caring heart.”

So what is it like to care for people?  Webster defines caring as “to be interested in or concerned.”  But is there more to this word than just Webster’s definition?  Absolutely!

Dr. Kristen Swanson has described caring in five basic processes:

  • Maintaining Belief is sustaining faith in a person’s ability to get through an event or life transition.  Nurses recognize there is personal meaning for each individual as they face daily challenges.
  • Knowing is the second caring process and is a true understanding of the effect the event has in their patient’s life.  It helps the nurse to identify the needs of their patient.
  • Being with is a process that includes both the physical and emotional presence that allows the nurse to share meaning and be attentive.
  • The fourth process, and I believe the key to caring, involves doing for others as they would do for themselves if it were possible.  This includes safety and actions in the best interest of the patient and anticipating their needs.
  • Finally, enabling is helping the patient and their family through events and life transitions.  It is the nurse who connects all of these processes together in providing quality care for patients and their families.

What is it like to care for people?  Every nurse I know will tell you that it is wonderful!  We gain so much from our patients and their families and each time we become a better nurse and even more caring.

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Nurse’s Week: What You Do Matters

Elizabeth Rochin, MSN, RN, is the clinical manager of 7 East at Rex Hospital. Her “Nurse’s Week” blog posts bring you a series of reflections on being a nurse at Rex.

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid physicians in their work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

-The Nightingale Pledge (Lystra Gretter, 1893)

Have you ever thought about the far-reaching impact of your work? Have you ever stopped and thought about how your touch, your words and your presence create a new reality for your patients? You may only care for your patient one day. But that one day, even one moment, may make a tremendous difference in their life. The difference between “heal” and “harm” can be as simple as a word. Or lack thereof.

When I became a nurse in 1989, I had no idea where nursing would take me. I have had the distinct pleasure of working at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (affectionately known as CHOP by Philadelphians), University of Virginia Medical Center, UNC Healthcare and here at Rex. In the 10 years I have been at Rex, I have seen so many changes, but the one change that I am most proud of is the continual enhancement of the level of caring we offer our patients.

And that caring starts with you.

As nurses, you give freely of yourselves and ensure the safety and welfare of your patients on a daily basis. Your passion for excellence and a drive to ensure the very best for your patients speaks volumes to the families and visitors that enter through our doors each day. Despite recent changes in healthcare, you have never lost sight of our goal as a profession, as an organization and as a community partner—to provide excellent care for our patients and their families. For the next week, we celebrate you and the power you bring to the bedside; whether that “bedside” is in the Tower, an Express Care, Wellness Center, or wherever you interact with patients or clients, your impact reaches far and wide.

You make a difference.

Patients and families from every corner of Wake and surrounding counties come to our facility because they know of the exemplary reputation of Rex Nurses. They seek you out to bring them solace, bring them peace, bring them healing and bring them hope.

Thank you for being a part of Rex Nursing. Our story continues- what page will you write?

One last item: a “thank you” for my team on 7 East. For two consecutive quarters, you have earned the YKB Trophy for highest inpatient satisfaction. Your dedication to one another and to your patients is extraordinary. Thank you for everything you do on a daily basis to promote the well-being of your patients. This is truly a team effort—our physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, case managers, social workers, physical and respiratory therapists, environmental services team, plant facilities team, distribution team, etc. It takes all of us to make this level of care a reality for our patients. I offer you my heartfelt gratitude, and so do our patients.

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