CTCA patient regains quality of life through compassionate ingenuity
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PUBLICATION: Zion-Benton News
DATE PUBLISHED: 4/5/12
CTCA nurse take nursing pledge to new heights
Just as doctors take a Hippocratic Oath, nurses take a pledge to do their best for their patients. Nursing instructor Lystra Gretter, R.N. wrote the original pledge in 1893. Recited during the graduation ceremony at Harper Hospital in Detroit, the five sentence pledge ends with the graduating class promising to “devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
Nicole Harding, BSN, RN in the Return Patient Clinic at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) embraced that pledge and took patient care to new heights when she met CTCA patient Robin Miller of Coal City, Illinois.
Robin Miller, who has colorectal cancer and is actively treating at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, was struggling with an uncomfortable female condition as a result of her disease process. After consulting with her medical team, which included Ashwin Sheelvanth, MD and Sybilann Williams, MD, it was determined, due to Robin’s chemotherapy treatments, that surgery was not a viable option to correct the problem at the time.
“I was hopeful that I could find something to help me regain a sense of normalcy in my life,” said Robin. “I began looking online for supportive undergarments.” Upon her search, she discovered these items could not be purchased in the United States. And what she did find was either out of her price range or not practical with her current condition.
After learning of Robin’s situation, Nicole, who is an accomplished seamstress, set out on her own time to resolve the situation by designing Robin a one-of-a kind garment that would give her the freedom and confidence she desired.
“The hardest part wasn’t the sewing,” said Nicole. “The most challenging part of the process was engineering a garment that actually met the patient’s medical needs.”
Within a few days, Nicole presented the garment prototype to the medical team and shortly after to Robin. After a few modifications, Nichole’s innovation addressed Robin’s unique medical condition and changed the way she lived her day to day life for the better.
“When I came up with the design I was only thinking about how I could make Robin’s life better,” said Nicole. “I now see that others with similar challenges may benefit from the design as well.”
“As amazing as Nicole’s selfless actions were, our entire nursing team is focused on providing our patients and caregivers with care that goes above and beyond,” says Carmelita Zeta-Sanchez, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer. “When hiring our nurses, we look for a person who exhibits that special, patient centered care trait.”
Since wearing the garment Nicole designed and created for Robin, she has regained a sense of freedom and inner peace. “I have been able to go to the movies, go shopping with my daughter (Tracy), go on walks with my husband (Carl), and even get down on the ground, which was impossible before Nicole’s help, to play with my grandkids (Chase, Daisy and Reiley),” says Robin.