Like most nurses, Karen Suczewski quietly and without fanfare, provides extraordinary care to patients and compassionate leadership to staff. 2018 was a year of tremendous surprise and profound challenges. Karen transitioned from staff nurse to interim manager and hit the ground running. While it may be difficult to get 30 plus staff members to agree on any one topic, our department was unanimous in that no one else could have filled the role better. Much was accomplished under her brief leadership. All policies were updated, a staff recognition program was instituted, and regular staff meetings took place monthly.
Karen achieved even more since returning to her staff position.
There are many examples big and small of how Karen exemplifies both PRIDE and DAISY values.
Here is the top five list of the things we all appreciate:
1. Her generosity of spirit knows no bounds. Karen keeps a few dollars tucked behind her ID. On many occasion, she pays for parking for patients who can't afford it, and breakfast at Donna's for patients who need it.
Most importantly we (coworkers and patients alike) have all benefitted from her quiet encouragement, kindness and always making time to genuinely inquire 'How are you doing?'
2. Karen is a champion of Shared Governance. As PAT's first Shared Governance representative she created our Unit Based Council and encouraged us all to have a voice on our unit.
3. Karen is always at your side and has your back. She is almost always the first at a Code Purple, is never too busy to help a patient, family member or colleague. The most recent example is how Karen initiated a devastating code lasting over an hour in our very public waiting room. Although a heart-wrenching experience for all involved she provided tremendous nursing care, comfort and helped provide important perspective at the last Schwartz Rounds.
4. Karen is quick with a smile and kind word no matter what is going on in her day.
5. Karen is a Magnet writer and participates in many important organizational initiatives. She beautifully represents nursing and bridges the bedside to the Boardroom.
When colleagues were queried for this nomination Karen was described as "Smart" "Extremely competent" "Hardworking" and an "Excellent resource" "Courage and grace". She has been described as a role model in whatever role she assumes. "She is not only knowledgeable, kind, and caring to her patients but also to colleagues. Working with Karen, you always feel appreciated and in good hands."
Her professionalism and clinical skills are rivaled only by her compassion. As both staff nurse and interim Manager, Karen has practiced and promoted a culture of compassion, teamwork and patient safety as top priority.
On any given moment of any particular day, Karen is practicing at the highest level of compassion, competence, and giving.