Kara Rickert

Kara Rickert

Kara Rickert, BSN, RN

Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Children's Hospital Colorado
Aurora, Colorado
United States

Kara has worked as a night-shift nurse on the inpatient unit of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) since 2015. Her positive attitude and strong work-ethic have greatly improved our team through her ability to provide outstanding care, mentor new nurses, and students, and promote the achievement of our unit goals while helping others succeed.

Kara is incredibly compassionate, and she provides outstanding care to our patients. The CCBD can be a difficult place to work due to high stress, and emotionally-difficult patient situations. Kara’s hard work and empathy allows her to excel on our unit because of her strong ability to connect with patients and families. Kara was recently recognized by an attending physician after she cared for a patient who came to our unit with symptoms that were consistent with a relapse of disease. The patient and her family were understandably scared, angry, and upset. It was also difficult to place an IV in this patient, which increased the stress and tension of the situation even further. The attending physician was specifically impressed by Kara’s ability to balance the emotional needs of the family while providing interventions to improve the patient’s physical symptoms. Kara worked incredibly hard with this physician and the family to make sure the plan of care was accurate, appropriate, and clear.

Kara is an outstanding preceptor for new graduate nurses, newly hired nurses, and student nurses in the CCBD. Kara always goes above and beyond to provide a thorough education and beneficial experience to those training on our unit. Kara makes the most of the time she spends with these new and developing nurses by using the care plans of a patient assignment to guide her teaching about disease processes, treatments, and policy and procedures. Kara does an outstanding job of allowing new nurses and students the opportunity for hands-on development of their skills. She talks through procedures and tasks with learners to allow for practice, and an opportunity to ask questions. Kara’s generous mentorship of nurses and students ensures they receive the training, education, and preparation to be successful in the CCBD.

Kara is a member of the CCBD Central Venous Catheter (CVC) committee and performs chart audits to measure the interventions we provide to patients with central lines. Her work has contributed to dramatic increases in bundle compliance and reductions in central line associated blood stream infections. Kara also uses this as an opportunity to educate others about CVC care, and continuously looks for ways to improve the processes on our unit. Kara does this work in addition to her scheduled shifts on the floor and unselfishly gives her time and energy because she is committed to keeping our patients safe and free from infections.

Kara is frequently recognized by her peers for the care that she provides to our patients and families, and because of her ability to work well with others. She was recently recognized by another nurse on our unit for all the help she provided during a difficult shift. The other nurse was taking care of a very sick patient who required a lot of care and attention. Blood specimens needed to be sent to the lab, but the tube system was not working. Kara made multiple trips to the lab to hand-deliver these specimens so the other nurse could stay with her patient. Kara has also been recognized by other nurses because she goes above and beyond to make sure the nurses that follow her are set up for success. Kara works her hardest to make sure all medications are given, all labs are drawn, all transfusions are completed, and all her documentation is clear and up-to-date before the day-shift nurse arrives. Kara is such a strong member of the team, and the CCBD is better because of her.