We are gastroenterologists within the Department of Medicine and must make you aware of the outstanding work of our colleague Courtney Schempp, BSN, RN. The incredible stresses of this pandemic have impacted patients and providers alike. While challenging times can reveal weaknesses within a system, it can also unveil the greatest pillars of strength. Nurse Schempp has clearly proven herself to be the latter.
Courtney Schempp began working as our clinical care coordinator in Gastroenterology in August 2019. She had a plethora of experience, from NICU to adult psychiatric care, however had no clinical experience in this field. With determination, she quickly educated herself and with phenomenal speed became incredibly skilled in caring for our unique patient population. After spending over 15 years in medicine, we have worked with innumerable nurses and can say without reservation that Nurse Schempp is a shining beacon and the definition of nursing excellence. She demonstrates diligence, kindness, empathy, meticulousness, and compassion, all with a smile on her face and endless resilience.
While we have been impressed with her exceptional work since she joined our division, she has truly excelled during the pandemic. We have a patient population that suffers from significant anxiety and depression and the pandemic has resulted in worsening of their gastrointestinal symptoms. Over the last 8 weeks, Nurse Shempp has further risen to the occasion. She spends upwards of 10 hours daily speaking with patients, working with them and her passion project of mindfulness/meditation, answering MyChart messages and helping navigate ever-changing scheduling. Her only expressed concern is, "how can I do more? How can I be better?" We simply could not navigate these times while providing patient care excellence without her. Our patients constantly compliment her care and attention.
Nurse Shempp's dedication to providing excellent care does not stop during the "regular" workday. She continues her education and is pursuing her Master’s Degree. She has also used this educational opportunity to create the aforementioned mindfulness/meditation program for our patients. She notes that she cannot wait for the pandemic to resolve, as she will be able to offer in-person group classes for patients with functional bowel disorders. We must also highlight that she is the only luminal GI nurse care coordinator who has two providers with high clinical volumes; her ability to balance these tasks and seek out further ways to improve patients’ lives in her "down time" is simply unheard of.
The pandemic has provided an opportunity to reflect on the healthcare system in this country. Nurse Schempp is certainly the way going forward: purpose, dedication, resilience, and empathy. As one of the finest nurses we have ever worked with, we write to you as we feel her excellence must be applauded.