Jennifer Cartagena, BSN, RN is one of our Oncology RN Care Coordinators at the Cancer Center. She is appreciated by our physicians, colleagues, and patients for her clinical attention to detail. Whether she is in our clinic explaining the pathophysiology of a cancer diagnosis in a way that our patients can understand or representing our staff in one of workflow groups, Jennifer demonstrates a consistent focus on patient and family centered care. One one occasion, Jennifer collaborated with one of our physicians to take almost two hours with a telephone translator speaking with one of our Berundi (dialect of Swahili) speaking patients. Jennifer also has keen clinical assessment and critical thinking skills. Recently, Jennifer noticed that one of our patients was on a medication that may have been affecting her uric acid levels and brought that to the attention of our physician, who was able to provide appropriate clinical interventions. Because Jennifer is focused on the patient, she also actively participates in our improvement teams by openly sharing her ideas on our performance and also bringing new ideas to the table even if they may be met with some resistance by other members of the team. If she thinks it may help us deliver better care, she will advocate for it.
Jennifer exemplifies excellent interpersonal skills with peers and co-workers not only within the Cancer Center, but also with the other departments that we communicate with to deliver interdisciplinary care to our patients. I often get compliments from physicians and nurses from other departments about her thoroughness as well as professionalism in her communications.
Furthermore, Jennifer is an excellent educator of patients, families, and colleagues. She is a sponge for information and is a natural at explaining very high level medical language in a way that is understandable to all. Jennifer also takes the time to actually ask and make sure that her audience has understood her explanations as she is a very conscientious educator. Recently, she reinforced the risks of managing leukemic patients to our physicians and nurses to help us better understand the precautions we should take in caring for these patients.
There is no one single act that Jennifer has done to deserve this nomination. She brings it every day with every patient and every colleague. That is, to say the least, an extremely valuable asset to our center.
This nomination is long overdue. Jennifer is one of our gems at AIMMC and we are all very fortunate to have her on our team.