Last week, we celebrated Nurses’ Week which is a great opportunity to recognize the positive impact of all of our nurses. Each year we pick one person from each campus to receive CJW’s Nurse Excellence Award who exemplifies the highest level of nursing excellence and dedication. This year’s recipients are Kathryn Sheffield, RN at Chippenham Hospital, and Connie Rush, RN at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Both of them truly demonstrate an outstanding ability to exemplify CJW’s Service Commitments to our patients.
Kathryn Sheffield is a RN in the CCU who has been described by her peers as extremely proficient while providing care to very complex and critically ill patients. She maintains an optimistic and compassionate demeanor and seeks opportunities to provide exceptionally positive experiences for her patients. Kathryn gets constant praise from her patients and their families and has received numerous letters from those that she has touched. She was quickly identified as a teaching resource after starting as a new graduate in the CCU and has been instrumental in training new staff members and students. Nursing is truly a calling for Kathryn, as she is described as always having a smile on her face, even on the most challenging days.
Kathryn has taken the lead role in educating her peers with our “Code Ice” patients and eagerly took on the role of “Save our Skin” Champion. In this role, Kathryn has been a strong patient advocate by utilizing innovative strategies to protect this high risk patient population. Outside of her clinical skills and positive approach, she also exhibits the servant heart of nursing. Kathryn spent countless hours making baked goods and organizing a sale for the American Heart Association that helped raise over $500.00.
Connie Rush has been in the role as Oncology RN for the past 12 years at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Before becoming a nurse, Connie’s career path was very different. She worked in the line crew building power lines for Virginia Power. She realized, however, that she really desired to help people and went to nursing school. In May of 2001, she started her first job as a nurse in Oncology at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Connie has been working weekends since that time and has been described as the “rock” for this shift.
Karen Roesser, Clinical Nurse Specialist, recalled a time when a patient and their family were having difficulty understanding what a physician was trying to articulate to them regarding end of life care and hospice. Connie asked the physician, “Would it be ok if I took a stab at this?” The physician agreed. Connie explained the complicated situation in a way that the patient and family could understand and they ultimately agreed that hospice care was the best option. Connie helped to facilitate this care and made her patient’s end of life care more comfortable. Approximately six months after her patient died, the patient’s sister came back to the Oncology Unit and when she saw Connie, she immediately began to cry and started hugging her. She told Connie, “Thank you so much, you made a difference in the care of my sister, she passed without pain and with her dignity.”
Connie has a very big heart and willingly helps anyone in need. In her community, she has helped several elderly people who do not have families in the area. Currently, she is helping an elderly woman by taking her grocery shopping and to her doctors’ appointments. She is also working to assist her in obtaining a Hoveround wheelchair to help her get around her house and out into the community. These are just two examples of those she has helped, as she has assisted many in her community over the years.
Congratulations to Kathryn Sheffield and Connie Rush for their outstanding contributions to our patients and their families here at CJW Medical Center!