Floresca Burton has gone above and beyond in her role as Clinical Nurse on the 5North Unit. During the peak of COVID, our unit had to embrace a major change and transition from a medical unit to an intensive care unit in partnership and support with our critical care colleagues to accommodate the overflow of critically ill patients fighting COVID-19. Our unit typically cares for patients with respiratory conditions; however, not at the acuity of intensive care that patients with COVID-19 required. The acuity level, critically, mortality, and fear associated with the unknowns of a global infectious disease pandemic was upon our nurses.
Floresca immediately embraced the change and became a magnificent leader and advocate for our team. She became a leader by showing her peers that she was with them shoulder to shoulder in the direct care of patients, supporting them as an expert nurse resource, and encouraged her peers in embracing change they had no control over. She provided much-needed peer to peer reassurance and support. Floresca became a tremendous source of strength and calmness for all our nurses and ancillary staff on our unit. While providing much-needed peer to peer emotional support, Floresca never lost ownership and accountability for any supplies, code carts, and medication count. She even went above and beyond checking our staffing plans to assure there will be enough help to care for extremely ill patients. She advocated for team members and bought forward any ideas or concerns that can benefit the team or patient care.
One example of Floresca's peer leadership was exemplified while she was working during the "Ceiling incident" in 5 North. Facilities personnel were working on roof maintenance and then suddenly the ceiling tiles started falling while we were in the process of removing patients in the room. All the team members were heroic during that incident, and it never occurred to them that they were also at risk of being harmed. with Floresca's calm leadership, she directed all nurses in unison on securing safety for our ventilated patients, moving them to safer spaces, and continuing to provide expert care. She showed calmness and clearance of mind. You could sense the concern about safety rather than fear and anxiety.
As a manager, Floresca helped me a lot in keeping the floor safe with a critical population and the challenges that came with unknown infectious diseases. She supported her peers, coordinated with doctors, while I was dealing with Administrative concerns and supporting patients' families. That was one experience we had in 5 North that we will never forget and teamwork definitely made us strong. I still believe Floresca's demeanor and leadership made all the difference. She has a way of mollifying a challenging situation. When you ask any team member, "they love working with Flo!" When she's in the role of charge nurse, everything will be taken care of. Patients and family just adore her and appreciate her.