When I think of an extraordinary nurse, Patricia Collins comes to mind. She is an outstanding nurse who displays great compassion and empathy for Veterans and their families. Typical job duties are, but not limited to, retrieving medical documentation, and reports from non-VA agencies, coordinating Veteran's oncology care, ensuring all orders are initiated, sufficient lodging/housing, and transportation have been arranged for cancer treatment. Also, making sure Veterans have adequate social support throughout this phase of his/her life.
She goes above and beyond the call of duty in so many ways. Examples are rounding with inpatient medicine/surgical team when oncology patients are hospitalized, meeting with community partner Shands Davis Cancer Center to streamline transportation problems for those receiving radiation therapy at their facility and chemotherapy at the VA Medical Center. As a result of her hard work with VA Hematology/Oncology staff and Shands Davis Cancer Center Transportation Coordinator, VA is added to the manifest. Veterans are now transported safely between the two agencies. Throughout the day, she is available to her team of Physicians, Fellows, ARNPs, MSAs for consultation. Patricia is truly an asset to the team.
She engages in professional development activities through CEU courses, end of life seminars in the community/webinars, UF Healthstreet Cancer Connections (monthly group of professionals, survivors, patients, caregivers learn about various cancer topics, and current research development).
She is very pleasant, does not take "no" for an answer. When Veterans are facing schedule challenges, she works diligently to arrange appointments to meet their needs. A DAV rider traveling from Tallahassee, Florida needs a PET scan, she will contact and meet with Nuclear Medicine MSA to schedule the appointment at the appropriate time to where the Veteran does not miss his/her ride home. If scheduling does not permit, she continues to contact Nuclear Medicine MSA throughout the day to see if anyone has cancelled or been rescheduled; therefore, freeing up an appointment.
Patricia is a team player and huge advocate for Veterans and families. She displays integrity, goes the extra mile, has great interpersonal skills, and cares for everyone she comes in contact with.