Who are the Hospital Heroes of 2012?
Meet three special nurses
At its annual luncheon on Nov. 9, 2012, the Hospital Association of Southern California announced the winners of this year’s Hospital Heroes Awards, honoring outstanding healthcare workers who provide extraordinary service to the community. This year’s group includes three local registered nurses, all of whom spoke with Working Nurse about what led to their nomination as notable caregivers.
Jared Axen, RN (pictured above), of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia. Axen is a 2008 graduate of College of the Canyons and a BSN student at National University. He is also a singer who has performed semiprofessionally all over the world. Known as the “singing nurse,” Axen has long used his vocal talents to soothe, comfort and entertain patients in a variety of settings. In one case, he even recorded music for a patient, who listened to it even after discharge. When the patient died, her family asked Axen to perform for her one last time at the funeral.
Now working with chronically ill patients, Axen says singing is his way of seeing “how much can you do for that one patient. It is an incredible way to bond and build trust.”
Laurie Biscaro, RN, of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. A 2002 graduate of Santa Barbara City College, Biscaro is enrolled in the MSN program at American Sentinel University. She was nominated by the hospital for her efforts over the past several years to redirect patients who use the emergency department for nonemergency care to primary care physicians and community clinics.
Her work, for which she shares full credit with Sal Robledo, LCSW, has saved the hospital hundreds of thousands of dollars. The effort to steer children to more appropriate sources of care for routine medical episodes is now being copied by other hospital districts. Biscaro’s work with “frequent flyers” — adults who have been frequently readmitted — has cut readmission rates by 11 percent in the program’s third year. She uses electronic records and individualized care plans, but also rounds up dog-sitters and relocates motor homes, personal touches that have made her nursing care unique and invaluable.
John Morris, RN, of Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville. Morris was originally an Air Force medical corpsman who challenged the LVN licensure exam. Ten years later, he graduated from Victorville Valley College as an RN. He has worked for Desert Valley since 2003, following almost 12 years in Africa, where he and his wife had been missionary medical workers for the Kenya-based Rafiki Foundation. The couple was instrumental in the establishment of surgical and ICU wards, as well as the founding of an orphanage that continues to serve 100 children today.
Morris still makes several trips to Africa each year under the auspices of the nondenominational Bible Study Fellowship, providing ongoing education, supplies and medication to various local medical entities. He enjoys the support of Desert Valley in all his efforts. After retirement next year, Morris and his wife plan to return to Africa to live in Monrovia, Liberia.
Desert Valley nominated Morris for his ongoing work in Ghana and Nigeria and for the mentoring he has offered local nurses in his role as a nurse in Desert Valley’s cardiothoracic ICU. “By sharing his experiences with coworkers,” says a hospital spokesperson, “John serves as an inspiration for those around him, who are often in awe of what he has accomplished in and out of the workplace. John constantly reminds us that service above self is the mantra that he continues to live by and what drew him to the medical profession.”
Congratulations to this year’s nominees and winners for a job well done.
This article is from workingnurse.com.