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7 East nurses win team award for their “healing environment”


Clinical Manager Maureen McGrath (right) and Clinical Care Leader Katelynn Carroll are proud of their 7 East nursing team.

Ian Asquith doesn’t miss being in the hospital for two months with a perforated colon, but he does miss the special nurses on 7 East at the General Campus, who he nominated for the annual team nursing award because they bring to life The Ottawa Hospital’s core values of compassion, respect, teamwork and quality.

“Personal warmth and friendly social interaction are vital in establishing a healing environment, and the team of 7 East demonstrated this in spades,” said Asquith, who attended the annual Nursing Recognition Celebration in November to present the award to the 7 East nurses.

“7 East nurses understand that teamwork is essential for the care and well-being of our acute surgical patients,” said Maureen McGrath, Clinical Manager.

Patient Ian Asquith (r), Maureen McGrath

Patient Ian Asquith (right) nominated the 7 East nursing team, led by Clinical Manager Maureen McGrath (left) and Clinical Care Leader Katelynn Carroll, for the annual team nursing award.

“What stood out most was the spirit in which the care was administered,” said Asquith. “Almost without exception, the nurses, assistants and support workers were cheerful and friendly and outgoing… They showed respect not just for us [patients], but also for each other…. If an alarm was sounding, for instance when my PICC line became entangled, it was often not my assigned nurse who stopped to see what was needed, but the nearest nurse who had a few seconds to spare at the time.”

7 East nursing team

Led by Clinical Manager Maureen McGrath (front row, left) and Clinical Care Leader Katelynn Carroll (back row, centre), the nurses on 7 East won the Team Nursing Award for bringing to life The Ottawa Hospital’s core values of compassion, respect, teamwork and quality.

Patients and families nominated 15 nursing units for the Team Nursing Award. Other major award winners were nominated by their nursing peers.

Kathryn Kingston, RN on B5/D5 at the Civic Campus, won the Wendy Nicklin Professional Image of Nursing Award. “Her quiet unassuming demeanor makes vulnerable patients feel at ease and this allows the valuable trust relationship to be founded,” wrote her nominator. “If my loved one were in hospital, I would want Kathryn to be their nurse. It’s as simple as that.”

Christine Smith, RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, won the Sue Robblee Clinical Practice Award. “She has demonstrated her commitment and passion to the babies and families she cares for, as well as to the team,” wrote her nominator. “As a senior and experienced staff member in our unit, she actively mentors and assists new staff, and contributes to multiple initiatives within our unit.”

Melissa Boonstra, RN with the outpatient Cancer Centre resource team, won the Dr. Ginette Lemire-Rodger Nursing Quality Improvement Award. With her fellowship from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Boonstra learned about supporting patients with head and neck cancer, and then developed a specialized teaching session for them that now successfully runs biweekly.

Stephanie Clermont, RN with the chemotherapy unit in the Cancer Centre, won the Annual Nursing Education Award. Beyond her regular duties, Clermont mentors new staff, researches and presents on various topics during monthly Unit Council meetings, and presented a poster at the latest Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology conference.

The ceremony also honoured nursing research awards and various professional accomplishments, including advanced education and publications.

Wound care, pressure ulcers: Amy Vandekemp won excellence award

Amy Vandekemp

Amy Vandekemp, RPN, is recognized as a leader and clinical expert in wound care at The Ottawa Hospital.

Amy Vandekemp won the 2017 Award of Excellence and Innovation from the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario for leading quality improvement changes for wound care, pressure ulcer rates, and C. difficile rates over the years.

Working as an RPN in the vascular surgery outpatient clinic, Vandekemp is recognized as a leader and clinical expert in wound care at The Ottawa Hospital. Some of her many accomplishments have included:

  • Led prevention initiatives that helped decrease pressure ulcers in several high-risk areas.
  • Worked with colleagues to develop and pilot a corporate patient care plan on pressure ulcer prevention.
  • Led a group that taught nurses to use the Bristol Stool Chart to decrease the incidence of C. Difficile.

Vandekemp received her award during a ceremony on Sept. 28.

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