The work of both the unit secretary and nursing support associate paves the way for a smooth working environment on patient care units, allowing the clinical team to focus on what they do best. Each year, HUP Nursing recognizes and celebrates the positive impact each have on patient care and outcomes. They also honor those who have consistently gone above and beyond, with special awards. Read about this year’s recipients below.
Staying Calm and Focused While Helping Patients
For nearly the past 30 years, Rhoads 5 has been home for Veronica “Ronnie” Gregg. While originally a CNA (certified nursing assistant), she now serves as its unit secretary. Always checking in with staff to make sure things are going well, she is the “backbone” of the unit. And she is also this year’s winner of the Helen Lysun Unit Secretary Award.
As unit secretary, Gregg is frequently the first to greet families arriving on the unit. “She is compassionate and professional and skilled at establishing a trusting relationship,” her nomination said.
But her impact on the unit goes far beyond her own secretarial responsibilities. Gregg frequently reaches out to help others, assisting staff in any way possible. This willingness to take on any task was truly challenged this past December, when, in the middle of the night, smoke from a fire started entering the unit and required an evacuation of all 22 patients.
Relocating the critically ill patients needed to be accomplished calmly and quickly. “Ronnie was leading by example.”
Gregg documented where every patient and nurse was designated to go. Once the evacuation was completed, Gregg made rounds in each of the areas where the unit’s patients were temporarily housed, checking ID bracelets, ensuring staff had everything they needed, and getting ready for the eventual reoccupation of Rhoads 5. When the “ok to return” (via an air quality test) was given, Gregg worked with nurse managers to ensure the safe return of all patients to the unit, in under an hour. Throughout the entire shift, “Ronnie never once appeared panicked, stressed, or worried…. She remained extremely focused, organized, and task oriented.
“Ronnie is the lynchpin that keeps the unit together. She is flexible in her schedule, stays after working a night shift when we are short a secretary to ensure that the unit will run smoothly for day shift. Honestly, there is nothing Ronnie won’t do for her staff and the patients and family members of Rhoads 5.”
An Integral Part of Patient Care
Nursing support associates (NSAs) are jacks of all trades on HUP’s patient care units. From stocking supplies and making sure equipment is maintained to interacting with patients and families to ensure the best experiences, they’re an integral part of the unit’s clinical team, supporting patient care on many levels.
As NSA in the Emergency Department Observation Unit (EDOU), Michael Campbell knows these responsibilities well and is known for going above and beyond for his unit. This dedication has not gone unnoticed. He is this year’s recipient of HUP’s Nursing Support Associate Award.
Always “survey ready,” Campbell not only stays on top of his own tasks but also ensures that any time the EDOU is caught with anything done incorrectly, it is never repeated. For example, “once, the EDOU was cited for one expired carton of milk during a mock Joint Commission survey. This has never happened again.”
Campbell especially shone during the COVID 19 pandemic hit, obtaining what were initially hard-to-find supplies, such as extra bleach and peroxide wipes, and extra MRI tubing . “He went above and beyond with every request,” the nomination noted, “and he never seems to forget a request.”
When the EDOU became a COVID Surge ICU on Ground Donner and for the SICU overflow,
Campbell made it his personal mission to make the unit a functional ICU space. “Mike put together supply carts requested by the staff and assisted in breaking them down and putting them back together again as the unit changed over and over again. I could see the stress and frustration in his eyes but he never stopped with his dedication and determination.
Even with the possibility of the EDOU needing to move into HUP East during the pandemic surge, Campbell focused “on what the unit would need to move and what he could do to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
“Mike does all of his work with great care. He has great relationships among the teams and works hard to maintain those relationships. There is no doubt that the EDOU has enjoyed success in large part due to the Mike Campbell’s hard work.”
Nominees for this year’s NSA were:
Mike Campbell (EDOU)
Khadijah Gresham (Silverstein 12)
Sheila Parker (Founders 11)
Colleen Stango (Dulles 6)
Lula Dixon (Rhoads 4)
Patricia (Trish) Grabowski (ICN on Ravdin 8)
Tyonie Walker (Founders 12)
Helen Lyson Unit Secretary Award nominees:
Matthew Cruz – SS 11
Kineda Reed – MICU
Amani Grant – Rhoads 3
Jamella Sparrow – Rhoads 1
Veronia Gregg – Rhoads 5
Ebony Harcum – Dulles 6
Lucinda Allen-Sanders – Founders 12
]Tuhni Ngo – SS12
Loiesha Dantzler – SS12
Tyrone Taylor – RP6
Darlene Marcus – ICN
Rosetta Samuel – Founders 11
Melissa Knowles – Founders 12
LaTanya Brown – Rhoads 3 15.Ron Crafton – ED
Anthony Cochrane – RP7