2021 AWARD WINNERS
Brenda is someone who leads by example. She collaborates with colleagues at every level of training, including teaching medical students, residents, fellows, APPs, nurses, and more! She believes that her department can only maintain its Excellence by helping all team members grow. People seek her knowledge and guidance regarding care of our patients, and she looks to help others succeed. Brenda’s selfless attitude and eagerness to expand her skills and knowledge make her irreplaceable and a crucial asset. Brenda truly embodies Duke’s values and is a true leader and mentor!
She practices nursing with the utmost level of integrity, without ever worrying about who is watching or what she might gain personally from a situation. She puts patient care at the forefront of her actions, thoughts, and words every single day, and she leads by example when it comes to doing what is right. She is the most trustworthy advocate that any health care provider or patient can have on their team, and she recognizes value in all people with whom she interacts. I have never once questioned the motive behind her actions, as she is the definition of integrity in all aspects of her life. For example, she will admit to her co-workers and patients when she is incorrect about a situation, and she uses those opportunities to learn and also teach others.
No matter how many years she has been a nurse, she continues to seek opportunities to grow professionally and personally. For example, she became board certified in her specialty in 2018, she was named an Associate of the American College of Cardiology (the highest level that can be achieved by a non-physician) in 2020, she is a Fellow of our specific society that guides our field (HRS), she continues to serve on a diversity committee for nurses in the Triangle area, and she is a contributor to several ongoing research studies within our department. She has helped other nurses within the department to climb the clinical ladder, because she believes that our department can only maintain its Excellence by helping all team members grow. She has presented and co-authored posters and papers at our national convention, and she looks for opportunities to recognize her peers and colleagues with delight and without the need to be recognized herself. She also regularly precepts.
She has helped to write the latest policies and protocols for the nurses within our department, including appropriate job responsibilities and expectations. Our department is in a field that continues to develop new technologies all the time, and she seeks opportunities to learn more and be great at each new technology, so that she can be a subject matter expert for others. She utilizes her personal time for self-study when new technology is released, and she seeks opportunities within clinic to get hands-on learning time to better her own knowledge and to share with others. She has also helped to define how we can care for patients remotely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, by utilizing remote monitoring capabilities to ensure that our patients’ needs are met during these unique circumstances.
She collaborates with colleagues at every level of training, including teaching medical students, residents, fellows, APPs, nurses, and all of the support staff. People seek her knowledge and guidance regarding care of our patients, and she never views working together or teaching as a bother to her. She looks to help others succeed, including our patients. She encourages patients to take an active role in their care, and she teaches them about their disease states and long-term expectations in a way in which patients can understand. She has a unique ability to teach all people at any level. Quoting one of the physicians with whom she works, “She may be the most efficient person I know, and she has the intelligence to accomplish an incredible amount with her efforts, not just in the care of her own patients, but in helping everyone else around her.”
She meets patients at their levels, and she does for them what they would do for themselves if they were able. Her care preserves a level of dignity for her patients, and she is able to anticipate their needs, even when those needs are unspoken. Because of the amount of time she has been at Duke, she has accompanied many patients through various stages of health and illness up to, and including, death, and she has been a reassuring face for patients and their family members over the years. She is not wasteful of resources, and she advocates for her patients based on their goals of care and quality of life. She never gives up on a patient. She is not viewed as a cheerleader for patients; instead, she genuinely conveys her belief in each patient’s ability to face challenges, transitions, and their future with confidence, acceptance, and meaning. She accepts others as unique beings with a unique purpose, and she conveys her belief in them with a hope-filled attitude. She is uplifting and compassionate toward everyone around her, and her positive outlook is infectious.
She is the embodiment of Swanson’s Theory of Caring, she is a powerful and resonant force within the field of nursing, and her patients, her peers, her department, and her field as a whole would not be as diverse, informed, respected, productive, and advanced without her and the example she sets forth every single day.
RN-BC, FHRS, AACC
Clinical Services Nurse III
Duke University Hospital