Quality Nursing Care: Above and Beyond
When a hospital is awarded Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, that means its nurses are among the top 5 percent nationwide — the cream of the crop. And Rush University Medical Center’s nurses have received this prestigious four-year designation twice.
For patients like Barbara Harris who are battling life-threatening illnesses, being cared for by top-notch nurses — especially ones specifically trained in different specialties like many of the nurses at Rush — is essential to their physical and emotional well-being.
Harris has been coming to Rush since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She was then diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006 and is currently being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It was during her first visit to the hematology clinic at Rush that Harris met the clinic’s nurse coordinator, Theresa Asai, RN, BSN. Asai made an immediate and lasting impact on her patient — so much so that Harris was among the more than 30 patients and colleagues who nominated Asai for the Leukemia Research Foundation’s 2007 Nurse of the Year Award.
“On the days I had chemotherapy, Theresa would call me that evening or the next day to see how I was doing,” Harris says. “She extended care and comfort beyond the call of duty.”
The award recognizes highly skilled, dedicated and compassionate nurses, so it’s not surprising that Asai was chosen as a recipient. In fact, she is the third nurse in her department to win the award.
Working As A Team
Although many nurses at Rush receive individual awards, it’s their willingness to work collaboratively with their fellow nurses and with physicians and other staff that has the greatest effect on patient care.
“The nurses act as a team,” Harris says. “They’re always willing to help you, even if you’re not their patient.” That’s because Asai constantly preaches the importance of teamwork to her staff.
“We don’t work alone,” she says. “We are here to help wherever and whenever we are needed — in the clinic or in the department — to meet every patient’s needs.”
For Asai and the rest of Rush’s Magnet nurses, providing that something extra to help ensure patients’ physical and emotional well-being is all in a day’s work.
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