Posts Tagged ‘nurses

Houston Hospice Nurses Receive Prestigious Award

Good Samaritan Excellence in Nursing Award

Houston Hospice nurses Hope Cook, Svanhaniel Crim and Darelle Robbins received the Bronze Excellence in Nursing Award from the Good Samaritan Foundation at a luncheon ceremony on September 8, 2016 at Houston’s Royal Sonesta Hotel. The event was chaired by Kathryn M. Tart EdD, MSN, RN, founding Dean and Professor of the University of Houston School of Nursing. This year 249 nurses were nominated by their peers from hospitals, clinics, colleges and universities throughout Houston.

Hope_Cook_Recieved_Excellence_In_Nursing_AwardHope Cook

Hope Cook BSN, RN, CHPN has been a practicing Registered Nurse since graduating from Texas Woman’s University, Houston 41 years ago. This year she tackled a new role as Educator for Houston Hospice. Hope has created several educational programs and works diligently toward positive outcomes in patient care through education. Hope’s colleagues note that she tenaciously seeks the latest information to stay abreast of changes in the hospice specialty. Her educational programs have enriched and supported the Houston Hospice nursing team.

Svanhaniel_Crim_Received_The_Excellence_In_Nursing_Award

Svanhaniel Crim

Svanhaniel (pronounced Swan-Nell) Crim BSN, RN embarked on her nursing career 40 years ago, after graduating from the University of Texas System School of Nursing. She has served as a leading member of her Houston Hospice care team for over six years. Because of Svanhaniel’s diverse experience and penchant for learning, she is a go-to person for nurses and physicians. Svanhaniel is eager to help her colleagues succeed and she is often called upon to act as a mentor and educator for new employees, nursing students and medical residents from nearby programs. Svanhaniel is also well-known for her exceptional bedside manner. Patients and families frequently express gratitude for the care she provides.

darelle_robbins_received_the_excellence_in_nursing_awardDarelle Robbins

Darelle Robbins MN, RN has been an RN since graduating from Odessa Junior College. She earned a BSN in 1979 from the University of Texas in Austin and completed her Masters in Nursing in Staff Development, Clinical Nurse Specialist degree in 1990 from LSU in New Orleans. Darelle’s Houston Hospice care team says she has been an inspiration to them with her positive attitude and can-do spirit. Darelle steps in when nursing needs arise, even traveling from Houston to El Campo to Humble in one day to see patients. At their weekly care team meetings, Darelle shares her wealth of knowledge making valuable contributions toward patient care planning. Beyond her medical expertise, families express appreciation for the calming and reassuring presence Darelle provides.

Thank you Hope, Svanhaniel and Darelle for your expert medical care and for providing comfort, dignity and reassurance for patients and families. You truly care and it shows.

Work with the best of the best. Houston Hospice employment opportunities.

 

—Karla Goolsby, Houston Hospice Communication Specialist

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Experiencing The Other Side Of Hospice Care: A Hospice Nurse And Her NFL Husband

I graduated from nursing school relatively late in life, at age 42, with the intention of working for Houston Hospice. My father had been on service in 2010 and, like so many with whom I work; I was inspired by this painful, albeit beautiful experience, and felt called to be a hospice nurse. I volunteered for Houston Hospice prior to graduation, hoping to become familiar with hospice services. After working a year on med surge at our local hospital, I was able to get on the Houston Hospice El Campo Team as an Admissions Nurse.

At this point, I must disclose that three months after graduating from nursing school, in September 2012, my dear husband and best friend, Bryan, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Bryan is phenomenal — a professional football player in the NFL, rancher and surfer; this man embodies strength. The morning before his diagnosis at the ER, he mowed the yard with a collapsed lung! Bryan fought through chemo for six months and when told that his cancer was unresponsive to treatment, he continued fighting on his own terms; holistically and spiritually. When I was hired by Lisa Machen, RN, PCM in July of 2013, she was well aware of Bryan’s condition, however she knew that my heart was in hospice and she believed, rightly so, that when his disease progression began causing issues, she and the El Campo Team would be here for Bryan and me both. In December of 2013, Bryan’s cancer was progressing to the point that hospice care was needed and both Dr. Barker and Lisa Machen came to our home to assess and admit him onto service.

It is difficult to describe the blurred lines that can occur in these kinds of situations. Bryan’s Case Manager, Jackie Hooper, RN, is my friend, my mentor, my co-worker, and….my husband’s hospice nurse. Bryan is her patient but he is my life. I am able to be a calm patient advocate for all of our patients — but not for my husband. The phone calls, the hugs, the voice of reason given by Jackie through this process thus far are beyond words. In addition to feeling like I’ve been emotional for our team, Bryan is what we would all describe as a “difficult patient”! He may sleep 18 hours a day and then get up and decide to chop down a tree… or disappear to go fishing for hours without his phone. Trying to keep him safe and manage his symptoms, while encouraging his autonomy has been an arduous effort. Jackie has been wonderful at developing a rapport with him, educating Bryan and supporting his efforts to ‘be a man’ to his fullest. As a case manager, Jackie is a wonderful example of patient advocacy. She is proactive and yet equanimous at her core.

And then there is me, with a husband who’s a patient on hospice, still learning and finding my footing in my chosen field. Jackie, Lisa, and the rest of our team, have exemplified patience and support for me. Sharing hugs, a kind ear, and special notes and cards, they have managed to help me feel grounded and protected throughout this painful process. Pat Matthes, not a nurse but a wonderful social worker, has been such a pillar of support and reassurance. Victoria and Karen in our office, have been blessings as well, always available to share a hug or laugh with me. And then there’s Dr. Barker, what a true angel.

Knowing the ‘end result’ of Bryan’s illness does not lessen the journey that we are on. I truly cannot fathom walking this road without the Houston Hospice El Campo Team. The gratitude and love I feel for Jackie and Lisa, and the whole team is humbling and inspiring. These nurses are walking beside me, pulling ahead, and pushing behind when needed. I am inspired by them professionally and personally, and I am so very grateful.

Krista Caldwell, RN, Admission Nurse Houston Hospice El Campo

Krista and Bryan

Krista and Bryan

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Houston Hospice Nurses: Every Word, Every Action A Gift

I was surprised that within my first two months of working at Houston Hospice, a childhood friend contacted me to say that her grandmother was being admitted to our inpatient unit. She was 96 and very much beloved from a long life. After emergency brain surgery to remove a blood clot, she continued to have tiny, persistent strokes. Days of monitoring, setbacks, bad news, and countless decisions left the family’s nerves frayed. Then, they made the difficult decision to stop trying to save their loved one.

“Mimi” was admitted after business hours on a Tuesday. When I arrived at the room, the family was just getting settled, and we all started crying. Fortunately, I soon realized that the tears were more of relief and assurance than of sadness. The family told me that even though they had only been at Houston Hospice for a few minutes, they were already feeling at peace. Mimi seemed to be sleeping deeply and in the greatest comfort.

While I was there, the nurses and aides were remarkably gentle, professional, and accommodating. My friend and her mother were overwhelmed with the calm that these women transferred to them. Every action or word was a gift. I’ve heard great things about our inpatient unit staff, and I have been with my own mother for weeks in ICU and other recovery areas of a hospital setting to witness outstanding, attentive care — but our Houston Hospice nurses and aides take care to a whole new level. Their skill sets include wisdom and patience that I have never observed before. I cannot believe how proactive they are with questions and suggestions to anticipate patient and family needs.  A lot of wonderful people can be responsive, but when support persons are proactive in offering help, the effect is incredible.

My friend, her family, and I were amazed by Sarah, Darlene, Sophia, Ellen, and Kristin on the night shift – and all of the devoted nurses and aides at Houston Hospice.  THANK YOU for truly caring and for giving every patient and family the gentle help they so desperately need. You are shining examples for all of us.

Martha Cambell, Houston Hospice Community Outreach Coordinator

holding hands

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Houston Hospice Nurses: Life Matters And This Is What It’s All About

As I walk the halls of Houston Hospice’s inpatient unit, whispers can be heard coming from multiple patient rooms. Peering into one room, a nurse is seen comforting an elderly man wondering what life might be like when his wife of 54 years will no longer be at his side. Across the hall, a nurse listens as a teenage boy asks her what heaven might be like when he gets there; nervous that he won’t know anyone when he gets there. Continuing down the hall, I see into the room on the left, a nurse is teaching a man’s sister how to administer his medications in preparation for him to go home; something he has been longing for since the day he found out he was ill. In the room up ahead to the right a nurse works diligently at the bedside of her newly-admitted 31 year old patient to get the pain caused by her breast cancer managed as the patient’s parents stand watching with tears streaming down their faces. I continue walking the hall, and I feel an overwhelming sense of pride for my wonderful team of nurses.

Here at Houston Hospice, the inpatient unit nurses provide a full-spectrum of physical, emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual care with the goal of preventing suffering and relieving symptoms to support the best possible quality of care for our patients and their families. As we enter National Nurses Week 2014, I would like to recognize and sincerely thank each and every Houston Hospice inpatient unit nurse as they are leaders in providing uncompromising and compassionate end-of-life care to our patients and families.

“And what nursing has to do … is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.” – Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What it is and what it is not.

Thank you, nurses, for all you do,

Jessica Rousseaux
Inpatient Unit Patient Care Managerholding hands

 

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