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Celebrating Our Nurses: Highlights of Care (Video)

April 28, 2016
Two nurses at BMC

The past year was rich with stories of compassion, caring, and clinical excellence by Baystate Health nurses. In recognition of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, the following stories provide a brief glimpse into the kind of impact Baystate nurses have every day.  

Whatever It Takes

A couple driving from Cape Cod came to Baystate Medical Center’s Emergency Department when the husband became quite sick. He was rushed from triage to a room, where the team ultimately saved his life. The couple came in so fast, they left their truck at the entrance unattended, and it needed to be moved. The couple also had two dogs in the truck, who hadn’t been out in hours. After getting permission from the patient’s wife and ensuring it was safe to enter the car with the dogs, nurse practitioners Maria Cardinale and Emily Walsh moved the truck, and then took the dogs for a walk. Security Officer Alan Kipetz gave them some water. Family came shortly after to get the dogs. The patient’s wife was so happy, she thanked the nurses and all the caregivers on the Baystate Health page on Facebook.  

Compassionate End-of-Life Care

When a dying patient told Norberto Duarte, RN, a nurse in Baystate Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit, that she had 17 grandchildren, Duarte printed 17 EKG strips and put them in empty glass vials to make each one a ‘heartbeat in a bottle.’ When Duarte attended the patient’s funeral, at the family’s request, all 17 grandchildren were holding their special gift.  

First Nurse Named President of Baystate Medical Center

Nancy Shendell-Falik, RN, MA, was appointed president of Baystate Medical Center and senior vice president for Hospital Operations, Baystate Health last October. Shendell-Falik previously served as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of Baystate Medical Center. Her appointment is a historic milestone marking both the first woman and nurse as president of Baystate Medical Center.  

Patient Expresses Gratitude

“Elaine, you provided comfort and compassion to me when I was feeling sad and defeated. You stopped what you were doing to sit with me, gave me a hug, and allowed me to share my worries. You made me feel that you had all the time in the world to care for me.” –Patient  

Baystate Medical Center Achieves Third Magnet Designation

The American Nurses Credentialing Center has designated Baystate Medical Center a Magnet Hospital for the third time in a row. Only nine hospitals in Massachusetts hold a Magnet Hospital designation and just three percent in the nation have achieved a third designation. The surveyors rated the hospital exemplary in five distinct areas, including the chief nursing officer’s role in organizational decision making, the transition of newly hired nurses, the level of nurses’ clinical autonomy, and for meeting certain national clinical benchmarks.  

Cardiac Nurses Race to Save Baby’s Life

Cardiac nurses Elizabeth Peckham and Edyta Halastra, RN were working in the cardiac infusion suite at Baystate Medical Center when a woman came into the waiting room carrying a baby and screaming desperately for help. Peckham and Halastra saw the baby was minimally responsive and barely breathing. Peckham held the child securely against her chest and sprinted down the hall toward the Emergency Department. Halastra followed while a charge nurse took over care of the patient in the infusion suite. Peckham ran, shouting to a volunteer to call code blue and let the ED know they were coming. When Peckham was out of breath, Halastra took the baby the rest of the way to the ED where caregivers were waiting and cared for the baby, who had a fever and had had a seizure.  

New Residency Opportunity for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

In 2015, Baystate Health started offering a six-month residency program for newly graduated nurse practitioners and physician assistants focusing on primary care. The teaching site for the program is Baystate Medical Practices - West Side Adult Medicine in West Springfield. The program is led by two physicians and precepted by an experienced advanced practitioner, Denise Finn-Rizzo, DFNP.  

Nurses Making a Difference

“My nurse Maurice was compassionate, focused, and calm. He made me feel like I was his only patient. When I felt hopeless he made me feel like everything was going to be okay.” –Patient  

Midwifery Education Program Graduates Excel

Baystate Medical Center’s Midwifery Education Program continues to be recognized by The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education for a 100% pass rate of graduates on their first take of the American Midwifery Certification Board examination, the only program in the country to hold this distinction. Baystate Health is one of 38 programs in the country. The Education Program and Baystate Midwifery & Women’s Health were also featured in a recent documentary film called Mama Sherpas.  

Life-Saving Catch

It was the quick thinking of Colleen Duprey, RN, triage nurse from Baystate Medical Practices - Quabbin Pediatrics, who took the phone call just before 11am on New Year’s Eve as a mother complained that several members of her family were sick and were passing out. Immediately recognizing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, Colleen recommended they get out of the house and call 911. Colleen’s recognition of the problem and immediate call to action clearly saved the lives of this family.