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Retired Major Traceee Rose, APRN, spent 27 years in the Army before coming to Valir.
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by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Valir Hospice has been honoring America’s veterans for more than a decade now.
But Vice President of Hospice Care Laura Trammell, M.Ed, LPC wanted to make sure Valir’s Veteran’s program was the best it could possibly be so she sought out retired Major Traceee Rose, APRN, to make it happen.
Valir Hospice Care is a family of dedicated professionals who care for terminally ill patients, providing them and their families with physical, psychological, social and spiritual support. Using individualized pain – and symptom-management plans, Valir works to enhance the patient’s quality of life.
With a significantly large veteran population, Valir Hospice serves scores of military families each year.
“One of my goals is for her to continue to educate our team that works day-to-day with our veterans and share her knowledge and speak that speak that she knows how to do and educate our team,” Trammell said of Rose. “I think she’s going to be the bridge that we’ve definitely needed in order to have the best program out there.”
The critical care nurse brings her 27 years of Army experience with her to her new role as director of clinical operations.
“I hope to bring enthusiasm. I love veterans because I am a veteran and my dad is a veteran,” Rose said. “I love hearing the stories, being able to talk with them and share their commonalities and being able to speak their language.”
That language is one of shared strife and successes, of losses and victories and of bonds forged.
For many veterans, that language is often lost forever.
But both Trammell and Rose have seen first-hand rekindling that fire at the right moment can bring peace to not only patients but their families.
“A lot of people say they have veteran’s programs but what does that really mean,” Trammell said. “We’re extremely dedicated and we’re extremely proud of it. My father served in Korea and he never spoke about what happened to him.”
“Like Traceee says there are stories out there all the time. I knew we had to do something. I would want my dad honored like this. It’s amazing what our military has done for us.”
Rose retired from the Army in September 2017. The Nurse Corps officer spent nearly three decades serving her country and finished her career in Hawaii.
She wanted to continue to make a difference.
“I had been in large medical facilities my entire nursing career,” Rose said, noting her last hospital had 425 beds with 5,000 employees. “I wanted to find something, somewhere smaller – not necessarily hospital-based where I could feel my ripple effect. Sometimes we get lost in a big pond and you’re just a cog in a wheel.”
Trammell interviewed Rose and quickly realized she needed to put her behind the wheel of Valir’s veterans services.
Even though the armed forces provides palliative care in a different setting, the trauma and intensive care nurse quickly fell in love with the new position.
“All veterans have a story. Every veteran has a story and sometimes they’re just not ready to talk about it or they don’t think it’s relevant right now,” Rose said. “They feel they just did their job and then got out.”
In the future Rose would like to partner with more veteran’s organizations to work with in outreach projects.
“The closeness and camaraderie, it just felt comfortable. I knew I wanted to work there,” Rose said. “Just being able to hold a hand and reassure a family, that’s the rewarding piece of all of it.”
It’s no coincidence that Rose felt a pull that Valir was investing in veterans.
CEO Tom Tucker is a West Point graduate and owned a company that forged the Purple Hearts bestowed to those wounded or killed in service.
“It is a gift to the family and a lot of times it’s the part they need in the grief cycle to help them adjust to what’s going on,” Trammell said of honoring veterans before they pass.
“It can bring a lot of understanding,” Rose added. “A lot of it is understanding who your parent was because your parent lived a whole life before you came along.”
Those special ceremonies where families get to see their loved ones honored often provide a glimpse into a world they never experienced.
“We’ve been able to see – even patients with significant dementia – they recognize when they’re being honored,” Trammell said. “It’s been very special for the families to see a little bit of their loved one come back toward the end of life.”
And to honor them as the hero they are.

Sarah Spurek, registered nurse at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, received her Daisy Award from CTCA president & CEO Jay Foley in October.

 

story and photos by Mary Waller

According to tradition, blue is the color associated with a 10th anniversary. Blue is also often given the designation of relating to the attributes of professionalism, loyalty, honor, spirituality, stability and peace.
Sarah Spurek, RN, BSN, OCN, exemplifies nursing professionalism and many other wonderful “blue” character traits. She is a team member in the Infusion Center at Tulsa’s Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and was recognized recently with a DAISY Award. CTCA is a hospital-partner with the international DAISY Award program, which highlights and rewards one nurse per quarter for extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care demonstrated in their everyday work.
“Each day as an oncology nurse can be totally different than the one before,” said Sarah, who will celebrate her 10-year work anniversary with CTCA in December. “On a typical 12-hour shift day I may have seven to 15 patients. And, my patients may be in Infusion anywhere from 30 minutes to 10-plus hours, depending on the treatment.”
For her, a typical day is a strategic balancing act with lots of moving parts and bouncing back and forth.
“When I first meet with a patient who is getting chemotherapy, I check the doctor’s order and notes, chemo consents and the patient’s lab work,” Sarah explained. “I also look to see if they have had education on their chemo and what treatment number they are on. At that time I’ll start an IV or access the patient’s port or use a patient’s PICC line, the whole time I am assessing them.”
“I always begin by explaining the process to the patient and then giving pre-medications, chemotherapy and other fluids using programmable pumps,” she said. “I have to check to make sure the fluids are compatible and spaced out properly. My goal is to provide safety and the Mother Standard of Care to my patients.”
When Sarah has the opportunity to meet caregivers, she endeavors to really connect, help them understand what their loved one is receiving, and put everyone at ease. She sometimes also has the chance to pray with her patients, which she noted is a very meaningful experience for her.
Sarah grew up a long way from Oklahoma, near a town called Delta Junction in Alaska. She shared that she had a lot of medical and learning issues as a youth and was able to get great tutoring and teaching to help her overcome some learning problems. After moving to the Tulsa area in 1999, she attended Tulsa Community College for an RN degree and later Oklahoma Wesleyan for her BSN degree.
Sarah and her husband live in Kiefer and have been married for almost 10 years. One of the fun things they do together over the holidays every year is make “Memory Ornaments” for each person in their youth group. “Memory ornaments were inspired by a Christmas ornament that I received from a special patient nine years ago,” she explained. “We make unique, handmade ornaments for our church kids so they can have a collection of their own ornaments when they grow up.” The couple is six years into their new tradition with no plans on stopping.
Sarah approaches her life like she does her work, with commitment and gratitude.
“An important lesson I’ve learned as an oncology nurse is to value every day,” said Sarah. “You never know what’s going to happen. You’re not guaranteed another day, so live each day like it’s your last and try your best to keep a positive outlook.”

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What scares or excites you about nursing? Oklahoma Nursing Students

I think just the vastness – you can go in so many directions. Hannah Steen

I’m excited about all the experience I’m going to get but scared of the confidence I lack at this moment. Kasey Jordan

What excites me is going into a discipline l want like ICU or ER. Jamie Nowlin

I like the fact there’s such a range. You’re not linked to bedside care or administration so the possibilities are endless. Katherine Feik

Oklahoma Panhandle State University offers a unique approach to supporting the educational needs of nurses in the state of Oklahoma. Graduate nurses and alumni from 15 institutions within the state of Oklahoma are eligible for the BSN Connection Scholarship.
The BSN Connection Scholarship is helping nurses in the state of Oklahoma complete personal, educational, and professional goals by providing a path to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through discounted tuition and fees. The scholarship pays the difference in the cost of tuition and fees from the college graduated from and the cost of tuition and fees at Panhandle State.
Scholarship applicants need to have graduated from a scholarship eligible institution with an Associate Degree in Nursing, have active and unrestricted licensure to practice as a registered nurse, be an Oklahoma resident, and complete 24 credit hours at Panhandle State during a 12-month period. Students can begin classes in the spring, summer, or fall semesters. An affordable program, both full-time and part-time options are offered allowing students to set their own pace. Panhandle State tuition and fees are discounted to reflect the current tuition and fee rate at the graduate’s pre-licensure program and institution rate. This is a significant cost savings for registered nurses in Oklahoma.
Panhandle State has a rich and successful history for supporting nurses over the past 20 years. The RN to BSN program at Panhandle State was founded in 1996 becoming one of the first nursing programs in the nation to offer all BSN nursing courses online. The program started with just four graduates and now boasts more than 400 graduates. This unique program focuses on the adult learner and does not require campus attendance. Graduates join the program from across the nation and help to bring new perspectives in nursing to the panhandle and state of Oklahoma. With graduates in California, New Jersey, and the Virgin Islands, students successfully complete the program while living in and outside of Oklahoma. The program is designed to meet the distinctive challenges that face busy, registered nurses balancing family, work, and outside obligations. Panhandle State’s RN to BSN program approaches education using a philosophy of caring and focus on adult learners. There are no campus attendance requirements and students are provided personalized care and attention from inquiry to graduation and beyond. Panhandle State recognizes, appreciates, and respects the need for professional nurses to balance family, work, and school.
Oklahoma Panhandle State University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
For more information, please contact Dr. Pamela Sandvig, Program Director at pamela.sandvig@opsu.edu

by Bobby Anderson, staff writer

Driven by more than 100 years of journalistic experience, Oklahoma’s Nursing Times has proudly served Oklahoma’s nursing community weekly in print and online for nearly two decades.
With increasing advertiser requests for digital packaging and social media readership eclipsing 20,000 readers, Metro Publishing has announced the paper will move exclusively to an all-digital delivery with the exception of special editions like National Nursing Week and Oklahoma’s College Guide to Nursing.
Publisher Steve Eldridge said the move allows more resources to be allocated to a format the majority of readers already prefer. In addition, the all digital format will allow for more timely news with immediate E-publications, Job Alerts and Digital Packages that include Facebook postings and Job board placement along with the continued pdf print edition that will continue to be published each week as it has for nearly 20 years. Though print pdf rates will continue to be offered, all new digital packages are added to allow recruiters access to the best opportunities to find that special nurse and fill difficult positions.
Oklahoma’s Nursing Times is the only local publication that offers features and news content specifically intended to support hospitals, clinics, hospices, nursing and assisted living homes, universities and other nursing facilities and the nurses that work for them. Recruiters learn the value in the passive reader that applies after reading a story about their organization in addition to the direct applications from advertising positions with OKNT.
“The move to an all-digital format just makes sense on multiple fronts,” Eldridge explained. “No. 1, this format allows nurses to access content on their devices, on their own time schedule. It also allows nurses to more easily share interesting, relevant content with one another. Nurses won’t need to locate a copy or wait for delivery. The move also allows us to expand our reach to the entire state more effectively.”
“From an environmental standpoint, Metro Publishing is able to reduce its footprint while at the same time still delivering the quality content our readers have come to expect.”
Eldridge noted the Nursing Times’ more than 20,000 weekly readers can look forward to more robust, interactive online content in the coming months including interviews with nursing recruiters, other nursing leaders and nurses excelling in their profession.
Readers are encouraged to contact Eldridge with story ideas by emailing news@okcnursingtimes or visit the Oklahoma’s Nursing Times Facebook page or website.
“We have highlighted Oklahoma’s nursing community in words and images weekly for 19 years now, highlighting the successes of caregivers all at no charge to our readers,” Eldridge said. “We look forward to continuing that tradition through a format that better serves our readership.”
Metro Publishing has a history of innovation.
The digital job board has long been the most comprehensive local source of nursing positions available in our state.
In recent years, Metro Publishing purchased the former Seasoned Reader and rebranded and redesigned it to Senior News and Living.
The move brought an additional 60,000 readers into the Metro Publishing portfolio.
Across the globe, the process of mushing up dead trees to bring readers news is rapidly coming to an end.
The newspaper industry began transitioning to a digital-only form in earnest more than a decade ago.
One of the nation’s largest papers – the Seattle Post-Intelligencer – has delivered a digital-only format since 2009.
The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Los Angeles Times – the top five circulating papers in the U.S. – all offer digital-only subscriptions.
In 2008, the Internet surpassed print media as the way the majority of people receive their news, according to a Pew Research study. While subscriptions to Oklahoma’s Nursing Times Digital edition continues to grow rapidly, very few requests are made for the print edition. “The nursing audience is a highly educated and technical group of readers and have proven the preference for a digital product” said Eldridge.
According to Pew:
* In the U.S., roughly nine in 10 adults receive their news online either via mobile or desktop formats
* Digital advertising continues to grow as a proportion of total advertising revenue, increasing $12 billion from 2015 to 2016.
* Total estimated circulation for U.S. daily newspapers has declined steadily since 1980 as more and more readers receive their news in other formats.
* But since 2014, the average number of newspaper website unique visitors has nearly doubled.
Late oin 2017, studies showed the gap between people who receive their news online versus television also declined to just a seven-percent difference.
Local, network and cable news networks reported declines across the industry as consumers increasingly go online for content.
As always you can go online to www.oknursingtimes.com to access current and archived content or email news@okcnursingtimes.com to have it delivered to your inbox.

On Wed., Jan. 10, Spike, a longtime pet therapy dog at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center, will make his last rounds. He has been a fixture at the hospital for eight years, coming to visit patients almost every single day.
Dr. Phillip Mosca is his owner. He says Spike has anterior spinal dystrophy and is losing the use of his legs. He now uses a wagon to move around.
The media is invited to attend Spike’s Farewell Wagon Tour starting at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. He will tour the hospital at 4401 S. Western Avenue until 9 a.m. before wheeling off into retirement.
There is no way to know the number of patients he has visited over the years but one thing is for sure, Spike is no doubt responsible for countless smiles. He is beloved by many at the hospital and will be greatly missed.
Media interested in covering this event should call INTEGRIS Media Representative Pam Hayes at 405-213-8605.

Foundation scientist Lori Garman, Ph.D.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Lori Garman, Ph.D., has been selected as one of two national recipients of the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research Fellowship Program Award.
The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the rare autoimmune condition. This award is tailored to support the transition process for scientists and doctors early in their careers studying and treating the condition.
Sarcoidosis is a disease where cells in the immune system that cause inflammation can overreact and cluster together to form tiny lumps called granulomas. If too many of these granulomas form in a single organ, this can cause the organ to malfunction or even fail. These granulomas can form in the eyes, liver, skin and brain and most often are found in the lungs.
The two-year, $250,000 grant will help pay for Garman’s salary, laboratory supplies, equipment and fund a portion of her research. This fellowship is mentored by OMRF scientist Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D., who said that this program is an excellent way to bring talented investigators into the field of sarcoidosis research.
“Having worked in sarcoidosis research for over a decade and witnessed the progress we are making, it is critical to future success to bring new, bright scientists into the field,” said Montgomery. “Lori is indeed such a scientist, and I am happy to be her mentor as she transitions her career in this way.”
Garman’s research centers on the complicated genetic basis of the disease, specifically how genetic and environmental factors affect immune cells that might predispose individuals to sarcoidosis.
To do this, Garman will look at specific genes to see how they react with certain environmental factors, including specific infections and viruses, which may interact and contribute to the formation of sarcoidosis.
“Immune cells in a healthy person are controlled, so they don’t interact too much with your own body,” Garman said. “But genes in sarcoidosis patients may be less suppressed, allowing the immune system to react against itself in damaging ways. I am looking at how this process contributes to sarcoidosis, because we are still trying to nail down the specific causes of this complex disease.”
Garman will study these interactions on a cell-by-cell basis at 5,000 cells per individual to determine how these genes are expressed and how these cells factor into the disease.
Garman was also instrumental in the November launch of OMRF’s new Sarcoidosis Research Unit, which was created to collect sample donations from patients to work toward a better understanding of the underlying biology of the condition.
“I am incredibly grateful for this award. It provides an amazing opportunity for me to do meaningful research that can have a positive impact for people suffering from this condition,” she said.

Q. I am in a health care management position. I am female. I recently had a person (female) categorize me as “mean,” I thought I was being “assertive.’ She said she liked it when I worked because I would confront the problem. So here are my questions, “Why are women so afraid of using their voices and how did assertive look like mean?”

A. Managers who want to be affective at their jobs need to be assertive. It is a required skill. If you don’t have it please rethink applying for that management position. Also don’t apply if you are mean or need to micro-manage your employees.
It is interesting that this younger female found her manager to be “mean.” Women are either not being educated on the necessity of assertiveness or they are afraid to do it.
Has anyone heard the following:
When men say NO, that is the end of the conversation.
When women say NO that is the beginning of negotiation.
As a manager, NO is sometimes necessary. It is what it is. No you cannot do that, no that will not work, no you can’t take off. But a good manager knows how to deliver with assertiveness and resolve the issue.
The workplace runs much smoother if a manager really knows how to “manage.” Be assertive when you see something that needs to be addressed and please listen to issues that your employees bring to you. Don’t burn out exceptional employees because you do not take action.
All employees need to be working. Everyone is getting paid to WORK, not just SHOW UP. Take care of problems as they are developing. Remember that you are the MANAGER, that means manage. Let you employees see that you are assertive and concerned; you will earn their respect.
You may not always be popular, sometimes people may not like your decisions. Have an explanation that makes sense. One of the biggest complaints heard about ineffective managers is to deny a request for time off with a ridiculous explanation. When employees request time off and they are told NO, have a legitimate reason.
Being a manager requires assertiveness, not meanness. A female who uses her voice with direct assertiveness in an attempt to problem solve and create a positive work environment will be appreciated.

INTEGRATE IT – 2018 Mind/Body Essentials

Mind Body Essentials is a series of educational sessions offered through the INTEGRIS James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit by local professionals with experience in providing services in mind, body therapies and/or integrative medicine practices. The sessions are designed to educate our community on how to INTEGRATE these practices into daily life.
These sessions are offered on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Raymond A. Young Conference Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. There is no charge for our Mind Body Essentials classes; however, reservations are required. Call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277 or 888-951-2277 to reserve your spot today. Topics to be covered through our Mind Body Essentials for January and February include the following.
* Jan. 23, 2018 – Charging Your Inner Battery: The Value of Living a Resilient Life
In this session, Diane Rudebock, Ed.D., RN, will help us explore our inner landscape, looking at where we focus our time and energy and the importance of resilience as we navigate the ages and stages of life. This session will also introduce participants to a six-week series we will offer beginning in February called The Science of Self Care: Moving Toward a Healthy Resilient You!
* Feb. 27, 2018 – Mindfulness: Resilience in the Face of Life’s Challenges
Resilience is the ability to adapt well to change and bounce back from adversity. We know all too well “life can be like a box of chocolates. We never know what we are going to get.” The practice of mindfulness cultivates our potential to be present each moment with kind, open and non-judgmental awareness, and effectively manage stress and change. We discover we can stay steady and at ease in the face of life’s challenges and still enjoy life’s sweetness. Marnie Kennedy, a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor, will share what mindfulness means for resilient living.

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