2023 AWARD WINNERS
Linda P. Ridenhour
Linda began her nursing career in 2007 on General Surgery Unit 6-3 at Duke Regional Hospital. She has earned her BSN, advanced to CNIII, serves as Charge Nurse and is certified in medical-surgical nursing. As a preceptor, she reminds novice nurses that they are “never alone – you always have a Charge Nurse when you need help,” and then she follows through on that promise. As the unit’s Magnet Ambassador, she creates bulletin boards to display key metrics for quality and patient satisfaction. Linda not only provides excellent care to her own patients, she helps colleagues with difficult tasks. For example, she made a plan and pulled together a team to assist with a particularly challenging dressing change, reducing the time commitment from two hours to just 30 minutes.
This standout nominee consistently demonstrates integrity on our unit. She is a firm believer in bedside reporting and understands that it is the most effective way to care for our patients. She gently reminds staff to document bedside reporting for every hand-off using ISHAPED (Introduce, Story, History, Assessment, Plan, Error Prevention, Dialogue). Her effective communication skills and ability to hold her peers accountable is a great representation of a real nurse leader. Another example of her integrity involves holding staff accountable for unused medications that are not handled properly. She places them in the Omnicell as “miscellaneous returns,” and then reinforces the process by teaching staff how to handle medications whenever they are not administered to the patient. This reinforcement is very important, as on our surgical unit, we frequently administer pain medications. Once, this nominee found a medication incorrectly placed in the Omnicell. Instead of ignoring this and moving on with her busy day, she realized this as a major safety issue. Therefore, she contacted Pharmacy and completed a Safety Reporting System report. This nominee is also our unit’s Superuser for point-of-care testing. She makes sure that all the staff on our unit get checked off for accu-checks and hemoccults, and that our training modules are completed every year.
The BSN-prepared nurse values excellence. She started her nursing career on our unit in 2007. In 2016, she advanced the Clinical Ladder to CNIII. She just renewed her specialty certification as a medical-surgical nurse (CMSRN). She is an active member of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. This nominee is our unit’s Magnet Ambassador. She attends monthly Magnet meetings and has created a bulletin board on our unit, which she updates each quarter. The bulletin board shows staff our data from the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) report. These results from patient satisfaction surveys help us improve patient care in several areas, such as CLABSIs, CAUTIs, call bell response time, discharge instructions, patient education, etc. She is great at educating and preparing our team for Magnet visits. For example, during the last visit she created a Q&A game with prizes for correct answers. She also created a bulletin board at the employee entrance to improve teamwork and promote “Living Our Values.” She is an excellent preceptor for new graduate nurses, traveler RNs, nursing students and nursing instructors. She encourages all staff to work as a team. She reminds new graduate nurses that they are “never alone.” As a Charge Nurse, she follows through on that promise, providing support to all staff.
Just recently, we had a bariatric patient who had very challenging wound care. In fact, staff reported that, during a required dressing change, they were in the patient’s room for almost two hours. This nominee knew that amount of time was too much, so she developed a plan with the staff and patient that reduced the amount of time for dressing changes to only 30 minutes. In the mornings, she would make sure that all dressing supplies were available for that shift, check lift equipment to make sure it was working properly, and have a staff huddle to coordinate a time to be in the patient’s room to help. Before the dressing change, she would prepare the dressing change materials, explain the process to the patient and staff, and ensure that the patient had an appropriate level of pain control. This significantly reduced the burden on our staff. Since this patient was on our unit for an extended amount of time, this also improved the care that other patients were receiving on our unit.
This nominee is a leader for our unit’s shared governance. She promotes staff growth and development by getting staff involved in different committees. She even created a spreadsheet so that staff committee responsibilities are documented, and so our unit can cover as many committees as possible. Another example of this nominee’s collaboration efforts was evident when she cared for a patient with developmental delays who had gallbladder surgery. Afterward, the patient needed drain care, but did not have any caretakers to assist. This nominee spent additional time to make sure her patient understood how to empty and reset the drain, and record the amount emptied. Since this patient was performing this process several times a day, the nominee was concerned about how the patient would manage post-discharge. She took this initiative to notify the surgery team about this patient’s special needs and worked closely with the group home, Case Worker and Nurse Practitioner to ensure that the patient received the support needed once discharged. This nominee’s ability to collaborate is evident in her Charge Nurse role. She is always willing to help her team with new admissions by setting up the room with needed supplies and ordering equipment.
This nominee values Swanson’s Theory of caring in her daily practice. For example, she was assigned to a patient with complex wounds who refused to get out of the bed. The care and compassion that she showed this patient was remarkable. She took the time to listen and empathize with him. She developed a plan with this patient, and assured the patient that we would control the pain before any move. She worked closely with Physical Therapy to enhance this patient’s mobility. This nominee’s patience and understanding motivated this patient to get out of bed and into a chair. With this progress, the patient was accepted into a rehabilitation center after previously getting denied. Another example of this nurse’s caring presence was when she was assigned to a patient who was struggling to eat after weeks of being NPO (nothing by mouth). This patient expressed extreme frustration because, since being allowed to eat, the patient was not able to overcome the nausea and vomiting. This patient was very hungry and desired to enjoy food again. This nominee spent additional time with the patient, going over menu choices that would be easy to digest, coaching during meals and reminding the patient to “go slowly.” Due to the additional care she showed, this patient was soon able to enjoy meal times again.
This nominee is a major asset to our unit due to her impressive nursing expertise and her unmatched ability to show care to our patients, team and community.
Linda P. Ridenhour
BSN, RN, CMSRN
Clinical Nurse III
General Surgery Unit 6-3
Duke Regional Hospital