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And the LMC Gold Goes To…

by Sarah McClanahan

Congratulations to the nine outstanding nurses selected as LMC Gold recipients this year. Since 2006, LMC Gold has honored nurses in Lexington Medical Center’s network of care for their commitment to patients and the nursing profession. Nominated by their peers, these nurses display excellence in practice and leadership, participate in professional organizations and development, and contribute to the advancement of nursing, as well as provide patients with the best possible care. LMC Gold nurses received their awards at a special recognition dinner at the Capital City Club.

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Tina Moak, RN, BSN, CEN
LMC Irmo Urgent Care

Terry Satterfield, APRN, COA, CRNA

Summer Russell, RN, BSN, RN-BC
7th Medical

Patty Kadow, RN, MSN, RN-BC
Center for Best Practice

Megan Lang, RN, BSN, RN-BC
Progressive Cardiac Unit

Kindra Murphy, RN, BSN, CBN
Riverside Surgical Group
South Carolina Obesity Surgery Center

Kim McPherson, RN, BSN, RNC-OB
Labor and Delivery

Jessie Humphries, RN, BSN, OCN
8th Oncology

John Allen Meetze Jr., RN, BSN, CGRN

On Higher Ground: A Day in the Life of a Crane Operator

by Sarah McClanahan

Afraid of heights? Not if you’re James Wallace or Randall Stappenbeck, tower crane operators for Lexington Medical Center’s clinical expansion. Lexington Medical Center is undergoing the largest hospital expansion in South Carolina history. And James and Randall are playing significant roles.

James Wallace atop one of the tower cranes used for LMC’s clinical expansion.

James has been a crane operator for 38 years, and Randall has worked as a crane operator for more than 40 years. Both men started working in construction on the ground, but they chose to pursue crane operations because conditions in the cab of the crane were better than those on the ground. When they began their careers, they were trained by a seasoned operator. Today, operators must be formally trained and pass a certification test.

James and Randall work 10- to 12-hour shifts, five to six days a week.

“Almost everything on the jobsite right now requires the assistance of the tower cranes, so being dependable and dedicated is critical to our success on a daily basis. A lot of people and their livelihoods depend on me,” said Randall.

Most of James and Randall’s days are filled with making “picks,” moving materials from one place to another. Currently, contractors are building shear walls and erecting structural steel for the hospital’s new tower, so James and Randall spend their days supporting those operations.

“With my view of the project site, I also can watch and alert people to safety hazards. Daily crane inspections and maintenance are part of my responsibilities as well,” said James.

Randall Stappenbeck starts the 15- to 20-minute climb to the top of a tower crane.

The tower cranes at LMC are 253 feet tall and 292 feet tall. It takes James and Randall 15 to 20 minutes to climb up to the top, and they only come down once a day – at the end of their shifts. They even have a restroom in the crane. If James and Randall have any down time, they get out of the cab to stretch their legs. And they do inspections and service the cranes outside of the cab. 

Some might think operating a crane is a lonely job, but James and Randall never get much alone time. They communicate with everyone on the ground using two-way radios, and the radio is always buzzing with activity.

Most importantly, both men find their work rewarding.

“There’s the view – you can see for a long way. And it’s always challenging because each day is a little different. Different job tasks require different levels of skill,” said Randall.

For James, it’s about the end result. “Being able to look back at the end of a job and see all the hard work put into it gives you a sense of accomplishment,” he said.

Navigating the Way: New Respiratory Care Navigator Helps Patients with COPD

by Sarah McClanahan

For seven years, Buffy Chapman, BA, RRT, helped Lexington Medical Center inpatients alleviate symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases as an inpatient respiratory therapist. But it’s in her new role as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patient navigator that she’s able to make a difference in the lives of COPD patients and families after they leave the hospital.

Buffy Chapman

“I help COPD patients understand what is happening to their bodies. I teach them how the medications they take can affect their breathing and help them discover ways to improve their overall health. I also advocate for their needs with providers throughout LMC’s network,” said Buffy.

A COPD patient navigator’s primary focus is to educate patients and families about self-management and assist in transitioning patients from acute care to outpatient management. Often, there is little continuity of care after discharge for COPD patients. When they leave the hospital, they may not understand which medications to use and when, how to properly use inhalers or what effects COPD can have on their bodies.

As the hospital’s COPD patient navigator, Buffy is able to work with patients during their stay at LMC and continue to assist them after they are discharged from the hospital, maintaining the same level of care throughout their transition home and into the outpatient setting.

According to Buffy, many of the processes required to get patients the help they need at home are complicated and difficult for patients and families to navigate.

“COPD patient navigators have the ability collaborate with other members of the health care team to carry patients through those processes and access resources so that they have the best possible chance for success,” she said.

Buffy also supports families of COPD patients, helping them come to terms with and understand their diagnosis, and she encourages those with COPD to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation.

“COPD is a chronic illness. As a navigator, I can help these patients move in the direction of maintaining and, in many cases, improving their quality of life.”