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Cawley named 2017 Nurse of the Year

Kelsie Cawley has been named Nurse of the Year at Centra Southside Community Hospital.

“I was absolutely surprised,” said Cawley, a Registered Nurse. “(Last week was) nurse’s week, so it made it even more special to be recognized by my peers for doing the one thing I come to work every day to do, so it’s really nice to be recognized.”

Cawley, who lives in Crewe, has been at Centra Southside for eight years.

Kelsie Cawley

“I worked on their telemetry floor here at the hospital … I worked in the intensive care unit for some time and then I came over to this unit, the infusion center about two years ago.”

According to Claudia Meinhard, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, the award was bestowed to Cawley during the hospital’s annual Nurse Excellence Awards Ceremony.

“Kelsie began her employment with Centra in 2009. She is frequently recognized by her patients and her peers for delivering high quality, compassionate nursing care. Kelsie is one of Centra Southside’s shining stars,” Meinhard said. “Kelsie relies on evidence-based practices and nursing research to guide the care that she provides to her patients. She exemplifies nurse excellence and professionalism. We are very proud of her.”

Cawley said she always knew she would work in health care.

One of her favorite parts of working in the hospital are her patients, she said.

“The unit I work in, I get to know a lot about these patients; they’ve become like family members.”

Heidi Snyder, a pediatric nurse, offered the nomination of Kelsie during the ceremony last week.

“I have the utmost respect for this Registered Nurse. She is one of the most respectable, intelligent, professional and kind nurses I know,” Snyder said. “I have yet to encounter one of her patients that did not boast about her positive attitude! This nurse’s unit and mine are sister units and there are many times that I have worked alongside her. I admire that she always has the patient’s best interest at heart.”

Snyder said Cawley has routine patients that she will see “time and time again and she has remembered their drink preferences, room temperature preferences and has a room and drink prepared and waiting for their arrival. This is a perfect example of ‘going the extra mile.’”

Snyder said she “personally had the opportunity to witness an improvement of patient care due to her attention to detail and concern for patient safety.”

“There are quite a few of her patients that have central lines, and an issue arose one day about the protocol for flushing ports with saline versus heparin. She had a questioning attitude and spoke up for patient safety by taking the following actions: calling the prescribing doctor, calling the IV specialist team, consulting with the nursing supervisor on call, consulting with the unit manager, consulting with fellow nurse colleagues, consulting with the clinical nurse specialist, reviewing our facilities current policy and researching current best practices. By doing all of this, she was able to provide the best possible care for the patient.”

According to Snyder’s speech, Cawley’s “actions initiated a facilitywide review of current practices concerning heparin flushes with patients. Now, her practices reflect this new information to improve the patient experience and quality of care. This would not have happened without the excellent nursing care that this nurse represents.”

Snyder concluded by saying Cawley “portrays what every nurse should stand for and what Centra strives to represent … ‘Excellent care … for life.’”