Oncology Team at Winter Haven Hospital

Winter Haven Hospital Oncology Team

Oncology Team at Winter Haven Hospital, RNs and More

Winter Haven Hospital
Winter Haven, Florida
United States

As a healthcare team, nothing is tougher than watching a patient you've come to know better than yourself, decline. The Oncology Team on Street 4 at Winter Haven Hospital nervously adopted a patient to our team and quickly realized she would likely never leave. Although we treat each and every patient as "one of our own" she was regarded as a VIP; she was one of those stories you hear about on the news but rarely see in person - a tragic accident, medically complex care - a young person's life unexpectedly cut short.

This particular patient became part of our family on Street 4 almost 2 years ago, just after her 21st birthday. Her hair was always being experimented with, as the antibiotics and tube feedings did little to help tame her curly hair, making it brittle and course. Often, a nurse could be seen on their lunch break braiding it back or painting her fingers and toes. Each time we trimmed back that unruly hair, we saved a sample for her momma, who often told us the only reason she never stayed overnight was because she knew her child was in the best hands. Her grandfather came every morning, 0715 sharp, we knew him by name, and he was kind enough to return the favor in knowing ours.

Our hearts stopped each time we heard a code blue announced overhead when she was transferred, on multiple occasions, to MICU; all at once, it seemed, busy hands would stop and each of us listened from the doorways for the relief of "cancel code blue".  When she would be transferred back, we would update her on the happenings on the unit, personal and professional.

She was often the best therapist, listening without judging, clicking her teeth if you said something funny. We discovered she liked certain types of music and played them at the bedside. We found it to calm her breathing, restore her heart rate and rhythm when she would become agitated.

This patient was kept wound-free on our unit for the entirety of her stay, thanks in part to the knowledge of our charge nurses and wound care team. Preventative care in her case was essential and she would never recover from the hypoxic brain injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident. This left her with a feeding tube, a tracheostomy, a foley catheter, a seizure disorder, thermoregulatory troubles, and only involuntary movement of her limbs. Eventually, her optic nerves stopped functioning. The brain scans showed less and less activity.

The care coordination team did all they could to find her a long-term option to call home. The floor nurses and techs understood the need and the reasons behind the want for transfer, but I think we all secretly hoped there would always be a barrier to keep our baby girl with us. In the end, her family decided a DNR status would be appropriate, and our patient passed, surrounded by a family of nurses who loved her as much they would their own.

With all of this said, each and every team member was essential in her care, and I cannot think of a better way to express the amazing day-to-day feat of caring for someone at this level.

Extraordinary doesn't begin to describe the amazing atmosphere fostered here.

Team Members honored with this DAISY TEAM Award:

Alburo, Danessa RN, BSN

Bonds, Melissa RN

Carillo, April RN

Cochran, Amy RN, OCN

Deiwert, Tina RN

Dempsey, Emily RN

Downing, Samantha RN, BSN, OCN

Giles, Anna RN

Hemby, Cassandra RN

Hoverkamp, Kelsey RN

Jimenez, Karen, RN

Johnson, Mary RN, ASN

Kisner, Karissa RN

Lankford, Audra RN, OCN

Osbeck, Heather, RN

Paul, Sasha RN

Rosenthal, Angela RN

Shirah, Susan RN, OCN, Nurse Manager

Tice-Washington, Willis RN

Wethy, Carson RN

Williams, Brandi RN

Baker, Glenda CNA

Jean, Synovia CNA

Kent, Cristina CNA

Lawhorne, Elizabeth CNA

Leverett, Jerry CNA

Rathbone, Michael CNA

Santiago, Lucy CNA

Wulf, Amber CNA

Robles, Sylvia, Nurse Tech

Blue, Gwen, Health Unit Coordinator (HUC)

Bryant, Sascha HUC

Kerber, Kelli HUC

King, Nikki HUC

Leath, Chands HUC