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Our Wise And Wonderful Nurses

BY Jeremy Shatan

It’s National Nursing Week so we’d like to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary professionals who take care of children with cancer and blood disorders at Columbia University Medical Center. If you’ve ever met any of our nurses, you probably already  know about their endless dedication and compassion, and their tireless work on behalf of our patients.

What you might not know about are the roles they play in research and other activities in the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation. Take a look at three of the posters our nurses created for a nursing awards ceremony held here yesterday.

  What's Happening on IP-7

 1. What Is Happening on HIP7? This lively poster details  the different ways in which the nurses are contributing to the culture of the outpatient clinic here. From going gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and dressing up on Halloween, to important projects about preventing the flu and improving antibiotic administration, it’s hard to keep up with everything they’re doing!

Tumor Lysis

2. Tumor Lysis Syndrome Theresa Coffey created this poster about the very serious issue of tumor lysis, which is a metabolic imbalance that can result from a rapid breakdown of tumor cells. The poster lists the risk factors, symptoms and clinical presentation of the syndrome, and details a triple-threat approach to resolving it: medical management, nursing intervention, and family education. Well done, Terry!

Flu Prevention

3. Protecting our Patients by Protecting Their Parents This project, by Karen Suchoff, Laura Glaser, and Melissa Beauchemin, takes off on an American Academy of Pediatrics study which pointed out that children with compromised immune systems may run the risk of getting sick from parents and caregivers who have not been vaccinated. By studying the issue and engaging parents and caregivers nurses in the clinic were able to improve the vaccination rate in our patient’s households, possibly leading to fewer infections. Perhaps when next flu season rolls around, the nurses will reach their goal of 100% vaccination of all parents and caregivers. We certainly wouldn’t get in their way!

We recently figured out that if you take into account all the nurses who work in our division we have over 250 years of nursing experience taking care of children with cancer and blood disorders. That makes the nurses a force to be reckoned with in all aspects of care. It is a privilege to work with such a great group of people!

Tell us about your favorite nurse in the comments below and visit this page if you want to make a donation in their honor.

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