Amy began her nursing career here at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in October of 1998 as a staff nurse on the transplant and bariatric surgical floor. After 6 years in transplant, Amy joined the staff nurses on the trauma surgical intensive care unit. During her time as a nurse in the SICU, Amy obtained both her CCRN and her ATCN certifications. After eight years in the SICU, Amy transitioned to our PACU team in July of 2012. Immediately upon joining the PACU team, she stood out as a leader and advocate for both nursing colleagues and her patients. She received her CPAN certification, advanced to a level III nurse and also began her master’s degree program. When the assistant nurse manager position opened, Amy earned the role of Nurse Manager in January of this year and has continued to make great strides in positively impacting her staff and the care of all perioperative patients.
Role Model for Compassion and Exemplary Practice: Amy has continued her role as a patient and nurse advocate and promoted the idea of providing “world-class care” since assuming the role of Nurse Manager. She has acted as a Steering Committee member for Patient-Centered Nurse Report and is a driving force behind the adaptation of the PCNR model for the perioperative units and Ground White Second State Recovery Unit. Her trust in her nurses is apparent as is her advocacy for the needs of the perioperative staff and patients. Amy asks the nurses on the unit to identify areas for improvement and areas of concern and addresses these issues head-on. Bariatric patients were often arriving to the PACU on the standard perioperative stretchers so Amy spearheaded an effort to identify the need for bariatric stretchers based on patient BMI. All bariatric patients now spend their perioperative period of their hospital stay in more appropriately sized bariatric stretchers. Nurses also identified a need for a more immediate response to the need for a translator for our non-English speaking patients. Amy advocated for and received a Translator Skype computer allowing nurses to address the immediate post-operative needs of their patients and ensuring a way for patients to receive adequate discharge instructions and get answers to important post-perioperative questions following outpatient procedures. Amy was key in having PACU staff educated in the use of aromatherapy to relieve post-operative symptoms as a new modality of treatment for nausea, anxiety, and pain, symptoms frequently treated in our unit.
Creates an Environment of Trust, Compassion, Mutual Respect, Professional Development and Ethical Behavior: The ANA defines a healthy work environment as one that is “safe, empowering and satisfying”. Amy’s method of management fosters the idea of workplace wellness and Amy spearheaded our unit’s Healthy Work Environment Committee. Amy supports the growth and development of her staff by encouraging nurses to apply for clinical advancement and advanced degrees, and she encourages her staff to advocate for their patients and themselves. Prior to her appointment to Nurse Manager, Amy shadowed each and every service within the perioperative department so that she could empathize with, validate and address their concerns. She recently addressed the nurses’ concerns regarding patient orders in Pennchart. Amy supported these concerns, brought the concerns to the Unit Council and asked for feedback regarding ways to improve patient safety and nurse satisfaction with the new system. We are currently completely action plans based on these concerns.
Accessible, Available, and Responsive to the Needs of Others/Encourages Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Amy provides her staff the tools they need to provide exemplary care to the perioperative patients. She is accessible to staff all hours of the day and often is aware of staff concerns before they are even expressed because she monitors the unit from home via Navicare system. Since becoming Nurse Manager, Amy has hired new staff, provided cell phones to all staff members in an attempt to improve unit to unit report at bedside, improve communication and improve patient flow through the perioperative phases of care. She identified a need for more portable suction to improve transfer from the PACU to the floors and a need for more recliners for our outpatients improving comfort and discharge time from the floors and a need for more recliners for our outpatients improving comfort and discharge time from the PACU to home. Amy has collaborated with the Rhoads 4 Nurse Manager to identify methods to enhance relations between our units, improve patient flow and enrich nurse to nurse communication. A PACU nurse stated that Amy utilizes her experiences as a nurse to encourage nurses to be outspoken advocates for their needs and the needs of their patients. After concerns about the lack of clean pillows, pillowcases, and washcloths were identified by the staff, Amy reorganized our linen deliveries, relocated our pillows and utilized ancillary staff to clean and prepare pillows for patients as they arrived to the PACU. Along with our Unit Council and Nursing Leadership Committee, Amy was instrumental in improving the discharge teaching process for our outpatient population including obtaining pre-printed envelopes to contain all discharge paperwork and prescriptions.
Promotes and enhances the image of Nursing within the Organization, Community and Profession: Amy leads many community outreach programs including, but limited to, nursing home visits by staff, collections of blankets for nursing home residents and supplies for local shelters, and working with Chosen 300 to feed the hungry. Amy not only organizes many of these outreach programs but encourages staff to attend and organize, as well. Most recently, Amy solicited businesses to donate food and water for all race participants during the Hospital of the University Nurse’s Week 5K Run/Walk. Amy’s unwavering support of her staff, advocacy for her patients, and outreach to her community make her a true DAISY Nurse Leader.