2023 AWARD WINNERS
An Army veteran, Erin is known for her humble, consistent service – to her patients, to her colleagues, to her country. She is the heartbeat of Radiology Nursing at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Known affectionally in the department as “Mom,” Erin takes colleagues under her wing. She has a rare gift for teaching others, and has had a hand in training every single person working in her department. She is extremely thorough in the way she trains, ensuring that every person has what they need to succeed and feel comfortable in their role. She works with interdisciplinary groups on multiple projects to improve patient care, nursing workflow and patient safety. Erin role-models daily what it means to be a Duke Nurse.
This nurse inspires us with her humble, consistent service to her patients and to her country. She enlisted in the Army in 2001, earned her LPN in 2003, was deployed to Iraq in 2004 (Operation Enduring Freedom) and completed military service in 2005. Always eager to learn more, she earned a diploma in nursing (2008), a BSN (2009), maintains ACLS and achieved certification. She sets the same standard of continual improvement for our department. She works with interdisciplinary groups on multiple projects to improve patient care, nursing workflow and patient safety. She is called on frequently by Managers, Physicians, Nurses and Therapists to assist with any difficulty that arises. She does not receive recognition, and wouldn’t want to, for these projects, but patiently and carefully works with others to improve care. Her co-workers say that she serves without thought for reward, addresses problems with knowledge and calm, and goes out of her way to meet the needs of her patients.
As the backbone of our PICC (peripherally-inserted central catheter) Team, she manages the training and continuous education of the staff using didactic and skills lab experiences. She coordinates with the vendor for individual training of new PICC staff. She encourages others to share what they have learned and supports them in developing educational materials. She exemplifies the careful approach the vascular access nurse must use in evaluating patients for appropriateness of vascular access.
She works within her scope of practice, and beyond what is expected. Even before becoming Assistant Nurse Manager, she managed schedules and ordered supplies. Recently, she designated a group of nurses to order supplies. She trained and then supported them as they made improvements in the process. She also ensures the team has access to and training on equipment. As Magnet representative, she worked collaboratively to develop a three-inch binder containing information regarding Radiology Nursing and Magnet preparedness.
This nurse successfully promotes change because she is trusted, honest and accountable. Providers, technicians and nurses from other departments know that her ultimate goal is to improve patient care. We suggest innovations to this nurse because she follows through, while ensuring that care is safe, approved, and well-communicated. Examples of this include changes in nursing workflow that improve patient safety, developing Smart Phrases to create consistency in care, and collaborating on (and disseminating) practices to ensure safe patient care following radiology procedures. She serves on the health system’s CLABSI Committee to ensure Duke Raleigh Hospital practices are keeping up with evidenced-based changes and continuing best practice for vascular access. The nominee also developed an algorithm for a unit to guide their decision regarding when to call for expert assistance in placing peripheral IVs, which increased their confidence.
This nurse meets regularly with providers and interdisciplinary leaders. She has, for example, addressed questions about timing of procedural medications around time-outs and nurse charting. She communicates professionally with providers to educate and assist in managing difficult IV access situations. She models for the team the collaboration we need to have with our patients and families as we communicate with them about their procedures. One nurse said, “(She) is humble and caring not only to her patients but also to her colleagues, professionally and personally.”
She collaborates with Nursing Education. This includes active involvement in planning and executing our annual nursing revalidation, even writing content (and recruiting others to assist) for games and activities. Additionally, she was involved in creating an online module and IV Skills Labs for new and current employees. She supplies an instructor from our team to teach these Skills Labs.
She works closely with patient families to make sure they are educated and involved in patient care.
The nominee is the heartbeat of the department. She embraces diversity and exemplifies caring that is free of prejudice. She places patients first, including returning calls to address patient questions, timing outpatient PICC placements and working with bedside nurses to schedule procedures.
She is knowledgeable and eager to teach others. She informs the department about best practices and hospital policies. She works diligently within the department to train others to new skills and to fill any staffing gaps. She takes great effort to promote work/life balance within the team and uses her creativity and interpersonal skills to make accommodations that will allow staff the time they need to recharge and rejuvenate.
One colleague says, “We all call her ‘mom,’ because she has taken every one of us under her wing. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, but she also has a rare gift for teaching others. She has had a hand in training every single person working in this department. She is extremely thorough in the way she trains, ensuring that every person has what they need to succeed and feel comfortable in their role.”
Throughout her life, military service to nursing care, this nominee chooses to serve, empower, teach and learn. Even when it means taking the more difficult path, gaining more input, or dealing with challenging people, she role-models daily what it means to be a Duke Nurse.
MS, BSN, RN, CRNI
Assistant Nurse Manager
Radiology Nursing – North Pavilion
Duke Raleigh Hospital