Tag Archives: RN

Meet the Clinicians: Theresa Kossler, RN

Lexington Medical Center is so grateful for the kindness and support from community members as our hospital works to take care of COVID-19 patients during this difficult time.

This month, we produced a new television spot highlighting one of our nurses on the front lines of the pandemic. Her name is Theresa Kossler, RN. Meet her in the video below.

Theresa is a nurse in Lexington Medical Center’s Critical Care Unit, working 12-hour shifts taking care of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. When she speaks to us from underneath layers of PPE, her voice is mumbled.

She recalls coming home from work the first time she treated a COVID-19 patient in March.

“I had to go home and tell my husband I’d been heavily in contact with a COVID-19 patient,” she said. “I wondered if I should kiss my daughter goodnight. I decided ‘No’ until I knew I was 100 percent safe.”

The entire Critical Care Unit where she works has negative pressure, which helps control the spread of contagious disease by preventing air from escaping from a room.

The PAPR she wears seals her face tightly from ear to ear. Like other nurses, her skin is broken out and irritated from it.

While Theresa and her team follow the latest clinical protocols for COVID-19, meeting patients’ emotional needs at the bedside is challenging.

“Although we communicate with them in the room, we have to protect ourselves, too,” she said. “We can’t just hang out in the room with them.”

She calls families with updates, recalling one particularly tough conversation with a patient’s wife.

“She told me, ‘Please tell him I love him. He has to come home.'”

Theresa tries to stay positive.

“As nurses, we have to be strong and show love and compassion to our patients,” she said. “Just like there has been an end to every crisis we’ve had, this one will end, too. And it will be so glorious.”

Shining Bright in Palmetto Gold

Mary Smith, MSN, RN, BSN, BC, clinical mentor in the Progressive Cardiac Unit, has been honored with this year’s prestigious Palmetto Gold award. This honor recognizes 100 nurses from across South Carolina each year for excellence and commitment to the nursing profession.

Employers throughout the state nominate nurses for Palmetto Gold. Nominees must meet four criteria:
•Promote and advance the profession of nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community;
•Display exceptional caring and commitment to patients, families, student nurses and colleagues;
•Demonstrate leadership and assists others in growth and development;
•Promote the profession of nursing and contribute to the advancement of nursing through civic, community and/or professional association activities.

As a clinical mentor for the Progressive Cardiac Unit, Mary champions process improvements that positively affect patient care and patient satisfaction, as well as support nursing satisfaction and advance the profession. She actively participants in interdisciplinary initiatives, including improvement of catheter-associated urinary tract infection and Foley catheter usage rates, hospital-acquired pressure ulcer rates and electronic health record order processes. With her leadership, the nursing satisfaction scores for the unit have ranked in the 90th percentile in the nation. One of her most notable contributions has been critical-care orientation. Since implementation of these classes, nurse retention and turnover rates have significantly decreased for the unit.

Conngratulations, Mary!

Celebrating Our Nurses

This week, we salute Lexington Medical Center’s 1,300 nurses for the outstanding work they provide to our patients every day. We celebrated them with a luncheon this week at the hospital. Thank you, nurses!

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