2023 AWARD WINNERS
Clinical Nurse II
General Surgery Unit 6-3
Duke Regional Hospital
DNP, NP-C, AACC, FAANP
Henrry has a passion for caring for the underserved Hispanic population and is all about breaking down barriers in our community – and in our health care system. He has a vision for educating people to manage their chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. He requests to care for Spanish-speaking patients. He helped one patient find and complete financial assistance forms in Spanish. When assisting another nurse’s patient to the restroom, he realized that the person was scared and didn’t know what had happened. He explained, in Spanish, the surgery, and then provided basic education about the gallbladder and what to expect during recovery. And, Henrry cares for his team. He picks up shifts, and during especially challenging shifts, he provides delicious food for his colleagues.
This nominee models integrity in his daily practice and supports a “Just Culture” environment. This nominee has reported entering a patient’s room and finding an intravenous medication that had not been infused. Instead of discarding the medication, he made sure to notify the provider. This nominee understands the importance of antibiotics administration, so he worked collaboratively with the interdisciplinary team to ensure the patient received the needed medication. Another example of this nominee’s integrity was evident when he was caring for a patient diagnosed for pancreatitis. The patient was prescribed only acetaminophen for pain management. This nominee knew that this was not an adequate regimen for his patient. Despite some resistance from the on-call provider, he used the SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) communication method and recommended that the patient receive a narcotic, muscle relaxer and a lidocaine patch. The provider agreed, and the patient was satisfied with the new pain regimen.
This nominee values excellence in his nursing career. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Nursing Education. He acts a preceptor on our unit and does an excellent job onboarding new staff. He has also trained experienced nurses, nursing students and traveler RNs. He is our unit’s CLABSI/CAUTI Champion; in this role, he performs audits and updates our staff on new policies and procedures. He frequently educates our staff and patients on ways to prevent CLABSIs and CAUTIs on our unit. For example, he has created a bulletin board on the unit where patients can obtain information regarding central lines and Foley catheters. This nominee does a great job with making fast decisions and staying calm during emergent situations. Recently, he had a patient who arrived from the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Within two hours, he noticed the subtle signs that this patient was starting to decompensate. The patient’s symptoms included a mildly low blood pressure, elevated heart rate and increased pain. This signaled him to check the patient’s surgical site for bleeding. The patient had significant bleeding at the drain site. This nominee called a rapid response, and the patient had to return to the OR for emergency surgery.
This nominee’s innovative ability involves breaking down language barriers within our community and health care system. He specifically has a passion for the underserved Hispanic community, as he is fluent in Spanish and English. He has a vision to educate the Hispanic population, especially in the areas of diabetes and blood pressure management. A specific example of his innovative ability was evident when he helped an uninsured Spanish-speaking patient find and complete charity care forms. This nominee stated: “I took the time to sit down with [the patient] and fill these out […] to ensure that [the patient] didn’t have to worry about financially paying for the hospital.” Because of this nominee’s ability to think outside the box, he had a positive financial impact on the patient and our health system.
This nominee has excellent collaboration skills with our interdisciplinary team. This nominee has a desire to enhance the discharge process that our Spanish-speaking patients currently receive. He wants to ensure that these patients have a good understanding of how to care for themselves, to reduce the risk of re-admission. For example, this nominee realized that during the discharge process, one of his patients was not able to get the prescribed antibiotics. Therefore, he collaborated with the Case Worker to have the medication in the patient’s possession before the patient left the hospital. In addition, this nominee provided additional education about the medication in Spanish, so the patient would understand and adhere to the antibiotic regimen. Since this patient needed a follow-up appointment, he collaborated with the Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) to ensure the patient had an appointment date and time before discharge. In addition, this nominee does an excellent job collaborating with our unit’s team. He frequently picks up shifts, to make sure we are well-staffed. During busy and hard shifts, he caters us with great food, so that the entire unit has a yummy meal.
This nominee frequently cares for Spanish-speaking patients, even when they are not assigned to him. For example, this nominee was helping another nurse’s patient to the bathroom. As soon as he started to speak Spanish to this patient, the patient gained a sense of relief. This patient expressed feeling very scared and didn’t know what had happened. The patient was post-op for gallbladder removal. During their conversation this nominee discovered that the patient didn’t even know what the gallbladder was and where it was located. After this nominee got the patient safely back in the bed, he could have resumed his busy shift. Instead, he pulled up a chair and started to give this patient basic education about the gallbladder, the surgery, what to expect, and the recovery process. He even retrieved information on the computer in Spanish, so that the patient could have a better understanding. This patient was very happy to be able to communicate with someone who spoke the same language.
This nominee’s passion for serving the underserved Hispanic population is not only a major asset to our unit, but also to the health system. His innovative and compassionate work goes beyond the skills of an average nurse.