(Photos courtesy of Sue Weaver, RN)
"This Nurses Week we salute the nurses of Saint Clare's for fulfilling their promise to care and thank them for their tireless dedication and devotion to the art and science of nursing," said Suellyn Ellerbe, RN, MN, NEA-BC, Saint Clare's executive vice president, COO and CNO.
Events included the second annual Distinguished Nurse Lectureship, Nurse Excellence Awards, establishing a sanctuary room, Nurturing the Nurse program and Spend a Day with a Nurse.
The nurturing program focused on nurses' self-care, which included meeting wellness and holistic health professionals. At the Denville campus, nurses received chair and hand massages, listened to a harpist and drank cups of herbal tea.
At the Dover campus, Brent Forward, MD, medical director of complementary medicine held grand rounds on integrative medicine and self-care modalities. Among other things, the nurses received hand massages and information on skin care and healthy eating. Nurses who worked at Dover General Hospital in the 1950s and 1960s were honored with a luncheon and tour of the building.
Cultural Competence Day was a special event for Saint Clare's in which nurses from different countries proudly shared their food, native outfits, customs and dances. Beth Smith, RN coordinated this event at the Denville Campus and The Phillipine Nurses Association presented a traditional folk dance 'Pandanggo sa Ilaw', a dance of lights that simulates fireflies at night. Donna Esposito, RN, and Diane Hassa, RN, led the Cultural Competence event at the Dover Campus.
Two annual Nurses Week events at Saint Clare's Health System are the Nurse Excellence Awards and the Blessing of Hands. Saint Clare's takes time during Nurses Week to present Nurse Excellence Awards for nurses in seven categories: Advancing and leading the profession, mentoring, teaching, management, community service, clinical care and team. Nursing scholarships, a Friends of Nursing Award and the health system's first DAISY Award also were presented. The Blessing of Hands is a way to remind nurses that their work is sacred and part of a healing ministry.
A sanctuary was opened at the Dover Campus during Nurses Week to offer nurses a place to retreat and take a break from the unit. The room offers a relaxing ambience, quiet time, music, guided imagery tapes, massage units for feet and back, aromatherapy, herbal tea and lemon or cucumber water. The Complementary Medicine Department and Barbara D'Alessio, RN, were instrumental in creating this sanctuary and in the first few days there were more than 65 visits to this room.
Spend a Day with a Nurse was a new event this year inspired by CNO Suellyn Ellerbe, RN, MN, NEA-BC. Administrators, pharmacists and human resource staff were invited to spend two hours with a bedside nurse to learn more about what nurses do on a daily basis to improve patient care.
"Saint Clare's nurses are caring, compassionate and dedicated to the healing mission and we are proud to honor them during Nurses Week," said Debbie Regen RN, MA, executive director of nursing at Saint Clare's.
Sue Weaver, RN, MSN, CRNI, NEA-BC, is shift administrator at Saint Clare's Health System in New Jersey. Send letters to editorNJ@nurse.com or post a comment below.