I have been working with Molly Parker for 5 years. This past year she went above and beyond her call as a nurse navigator in order to help her patients through very trying experiences.
Molly was hired as one of the first Oncology Nurse Navigators at St. Vincent. She was selected to work in Gynecologic Oncology to help our patients with the many pathways of treatment, and guide them through all their concerns. Molly commits herself to go to Radiation Oncology Conference every Monday to stay on top of patient plans. She is in constant communication with the nurses to make sure every detail is covered on what the patient needs.
There were two instances this year that really made her stand out and helped define her nursing career. The first was a patient we met with together to work through all her needs with a metastatic ovarian cancer at the age of 18. Due to her age, the patient's parents were at the forefront of decision making. Molly quickly gained trust with the patient and her parents to help guide their decision making and offer support.
Molly would check in with both the patient and parents on a daily basis because of the quick changes that were happening with the patient's disease. As the patient declined and cancer progressed, we both knew the ultimate plan had to be getting the patient and her family ready for what they did not want to hear. The day came that we had to tell the young patient that she was going to die. Molly was there to catch mom as she buckled to her knees from the news. We cried with the family and the patient.
Unfortunately, the patient died just 6 weeks after we met her. Molly continued to put the family's needs first, so she went to the patient's funeral. Molly continues to keep in touch with the patient's mother to help her with her grief.
The second instance came just recently. Molly had another patient who lived in Illinois that would come to Indianapolis for treatment. The end was drawing near for the patient as evidence of her progressing disease and decreasing performance status. Molly once again rose to the challenge of getting her ready for what she was not ready to accept.
The patient was admitted to the ICU at a hospital in Illinois and wanted everything to be done to keep her alive. Molly drove to Illinois to see this patient. She said, "I just wanted to see her one last time, give her comfort, and help her understand it was ok to let go". After Molly's visit, the patient agreed to change her code status, entered into hospice care, and died two days later.
Molly takes her role as navigator and nurse advocate to a whole new level. She shows so much dedication and will do whatever it takes to support her patients in life and death. It is such a privilege to work with such a dedicated nurse. She makes me want to do more for my patients, and move in a direction that can feel uncomfortable but necessary to give quality, compassionate care.