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news News Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:43 PM - Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:43 PM

Boston nurses recognized in annual “Salute to Nurses” tribute

Boston nurses recognized in annual “Salute to Nurses” tribute

Last week we celebrated our nurses and the incredible work they do every day on behalf of our patients. While our nurses are all very modest, we love when they get some public attention. The following nurses were recognized in Sunday’s edition of the Boston Globe and on in the annual Salute to Nurses section. We are thrilled to see so many of our deserving nurses recognized for their work. Here are their nominations:

Sandra Barrett – care management

When I think of an individual who truly demonstrates what nursing is all about, Sandy stands out. She’s been a Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston nurse for over 33 years. She has held numerous roles in that time, including staff nurse, assistant nurse manager and care manager (her current role). Her dedication as a patient advocate has always been exceptional.

As the co-coordinator for our cleft lip and palate program, Sandy works with parents facing the prospect of sending their baby off to surgery. Sandy guides these parents through every step, spending as much time as needed talking, answering questions and preparing them for the next steps. The trust that Sandy nurtures with these families exemplifies the essence of nursing. She is a professional who understands the importance of patient- and family-centered care and, with her colleagues, makes sure that the child is always central. It is an honor to work with Sandy and to nominate her for recognition.

Darlene Conti – perioperative services

Darlene works with acutely injured children, specializing in perioperative services and providing operating room (OR) care. These patients have experienced trauma including major burns, and are often critically ill. Darlene knows how to care for them in the OR and how to support their emotional needs.

Darlene has followed many of the children's lives over the years. She recognizes them and interacts on a personal level. Darlene demonstrates both the caring that is a hallmark of a Shriners Hospitals for Children nurse and the professionalism of a seasoned nurse.

Darlene is committed to the mission and vision of the hospital and is an asset to the perioperative department. She is a dedicated team member who always makes sure that the care provided in the OR is of the highest quality.

Rich Grady – inpatient unit

Rich began his career at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston as a technician in the operating room and worked his way up to nurse manager of the burn unit while attending nursing school. He worked as an intensive care unit nurse and now manages the unit. The work is challenging in many ways, but Rich keeps an even temper and calm attitude even through the most difficult times. He always supports his staff and ensures that they have all the tools and training they need. He is a technically excellent pediatric ICU nurse and has become a skilled and perceptive manager. He’s a wonderful asset to the burn program.

Inpatient unit nurses

Despite changes in the organization over the past year, the entire nursing staff on the inpatient unit continues their top-notch care. No matter what, they never lose sight of the patient and their family while caring for pediatric patients. They constantly demonstrate incredible compassion and advocacy. They are all true professionals committed to the best outcomes for their patients.

Caring for children with devastating burn injuries often showcases their impressive clinical skills. Although their patients are often extremely ill, these nurses never waiver or panic as they concentrate on the patient and apply their skills and judgment. Multidisciplinary collaboration is often in the forefront. Their teamwork is truly inspiring.

They are also educators – in the community, internationally, and, of course, in the hospital. They are mentors, teachers and coaches to nursing students from around New England.

It takes a special breed of nurse to care for burn patients – especially pediatric burn patients. As the only certified pediatric burn unit in the Northeast, we are fortunate to have these specialists. Their commitment to the hospital’s mission is inspiring. They all love their work, and it shows.

Cheryl Kelley – perioperative services

Cheryl works in the operating room, where she demonstrates exceptional skill and compassion in caring for severely burned children. Working with children who have such devastating injuries requires enormous empathy and kindness – qualities that Cheryl demonstrates with each interaction, both with the patients and with their families.

Cheryl cares for acutely injured children as if they were her own. She provides specialized perioperative care, as well as personal care including washing the smell of smoke from a child’s hair and then styling it. She knows many of the children who came to the hospital while their injuries were acute, and she has followed them through years of recovery. She smiles and calls each one by name, often exclaiming about how they have grown and how great they look, and asking them about what’s going on in their lives now.

Cheryl is a role model who is deeply committed to the mission and vision of Shriners Hospitals for Children. She is a tremendous asset to the perioperative department and we are fortunate that she is on our team.

Jeanne MacDonald – outpatient unit

Kindness, generosity, empathy, and love make Jeanne worthy of this award. She is always happy, no matter the time or the number of patients. She always makes them feel safe and protected. For us, she will always be the favorite.

Jeanne MacDonald – outpatient unit

A nurse at Shriners Hospitals for Children for many years, Jeanne brings contagious positive energy and love to the workplace every day, putting smiles on every patient and coworker. Working with children who have acute burn injuries is not easy. Her compassion for those children – the fine details of each dressing change, the thorough education she shares with families, and her emotional support for the children and their parents – are only a few of the ways she makes each patient experience better.

I have only worked with Jeanne for the past two years. I’m sure those who have worked with her longer have endless examples of how special she truly is. I have one recent example: As an occupational therapist, I collaborate closely with nurses on patients with hand burns and scar management needs. One patient needed extensive caregiver training, as they were going abroad for a month. Jeanne devoted an hour during a busy clinic to work alongside me, teaching the parent how to change a dressing, how to progress the dressing each week and how to avoid infection. The parent went from being completely overwhelmed to confident and grateful.

This is Jeanne’s practice with every patient. She never appears stressed or rushed, whatever is going on around her. She gives her full attention to each patient who steps into her clinic room, setting up the family and patient for success and healing. I am honored to work on Jeanne’s team.

Outpatient department nurses

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston is a small gem that provides exceptional care for children with burn injuries and other disorders. We have seen a huge shift in care, moving from the inpatient to the outpatient setting throughout the health care industry, and it is also evident in the Boston Shriners Hospital outpatient clinic.

The outpatient nursing team cares for children with small burn injuries, those who have been discharged after a 23-hour stay for reconstructive surgery, and children who need ongoing care for a very large burn. On any given day, the nurses might care for a teenager with burns over 50 percent of his body, a little girl who placed her hand on a glass fireplace door, or a child with an electrical injury who now needs outpatient wound management. The nurses move from clinic room to clinic room with finesse and confidence, greeting each child and parent or guardian with warmth and the assurance that their child will receive the best care. They ease the parents’ guilt, teach while providing care and include the family in the next steps. Caring for children with burns is a specialty that requires skill, passion and dedication. The nurses in this very special burn clinic live up to this, and it is an honor to work with them each day.

Mary Jo Pedulla – director of patient care services

I have the great fortune to work with MJ every day. In each interaction, she places the patient and family in the center of decision-making around care and services. As a seasoned patient-safety registered nurse, it’s easy for me to say that MJ’s leadership makes a difference in the lives of really sick kids. Her steady hand on what really matters makes our environment a safe and caring place for kids and parents.

Mary Jo Pedulla – director of patient care services

Mary Jo is the director of patient care services (also known as the chief nursing officer). One day – and for a week after – she got involved in moving a patient from another country. There was some difficulty with the mode of transportation. As the hospital administrator, I watched Mary Jo work tirelessly for days to ensure that the logistics were safe and appropriate for the patient, who finally arrived the following week. Although this wasn’t patient care per se, her efforts were truly impactful for this patient. No one will ever know the extent of her efforts.

Kara Sher – flyer RN

Kara carries out the Shriners Hospitals for Children mission of compassionate, patient-centered care in a way that deserves recognition. As the flyer RN, Kara cares for patients across the hospital. As a specialized burn care nurse, she proficiently provides care to pediatric patients in the intensive care unit, the inpatient unit, the post-anesthesia care unit and the outpatient department. She knows how to prioritize her time and always senses where she is needed most. A team player, Kara is quick to rearrange her schedule to suit the hospital’s needs. Her practice centers on patients’ best interests. She’s a strong advocate for patients and their families, and always seems to know how to change a dressing or carry out a procedure to ensure the best outcome for each patient. She personifies patient-focused, family-centered care.

In addition to her bedside clinical skills, Kara is a nursing leader. She serves on or co-chairs several committees, and is involved in many performance improvement initiatives. When she sees the potential for improvement, she works until it is achieved. Her leadership skills and clinical expertise make Kara an excellent preceptor and educator. She has precepted many nurses in her years at the Boston Shriners Hospital and is a knowledgeable Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Burn Life Support instructor. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a skilled, dedicated nurse like Kara.

Kara Sher – flyer RN

“NURSE: A person formally educated and trained in the care of the sick or infirm.” Kara brings so many more definitions to mind. She exemplifies compassion, not only as she performs two-hour dressing changes with exquisite precision, but also as she precepts new critical-care burn nurses. For example, she has been known to seamlessly take novice nurses under her tenured wing throughout the difficult stages in a patient’s recovery, staying at the trainee’s side with constant guidance and support. Kara also has a canny knack for blending her specialized burn care knowledge with a keen sense of humor at just the right time. These innate characteristics help keep the clinical team calm and focused while caring for the most vulnerable and fragile acute burn children. Kara: a true NURSE.

Lori Viveros – perioperative services

After working with Lori in the burn unit operating room for many years, I’m nominating her for her consistent can-do mindset, technical skill, and positive attitude in the face of the sometimes physically and emotionally demanding nature of her work. The burn unit often needs unexpected access to the OR, and needs to adjust the nature and timing of operations. Lori works creatively to find the best solution. Her technical skills as circulating or scrub nurse are excellent. She shrugs off the annoyances from documentation and other administrative requirements and focuses her attention on creating the best OR environment for patients.

Read more about Salute to Nurses 2019.

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