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OU Medicine nurses receiving this honor are: Stacie Willoughby, Roxanne Shimp, Heather Graham, Liz Webb, Todd Kahoe, Douglas Gibson, Sharon Wengier, Taylor Risenhoover, Kammie Monarch, Linda Perron, Letitia Breath, Rhonda Farris, Darrin Nobis, Tara Smith, Jeneene Kitz, Nathaniel Pharr-Mahurin, Mindy Miller, Laci Fleenor, Catherine Pierce, Grace Bedford, Nikki Martinez, Mark Wheeler, Crystal Ogle, Annabelle Slater, Toni Steele, Amanda Bobo, Tesie Cates, Pamela Duncan, Kris Wallace, Jamie Kilpatrick, Susan Bedwell and Judy Owen.
Cathy Pierce, Chief Nurse Executive at OU Medicine.

The Great 100 Nurses Foundation has recently chosen their top 100 registered nurses from Oklahoma and OU Medicine dominated with 32 honorees, the most from any Oklahoma health care organization.
The foundation honors thousands of nurses across several states. These exemplary nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity, their contributions to their profession and their mentoring of others. Peers submitted nominations earlier this summer.
“OU Medicine is proud of all of our nurses and congratulates our 32 honorees for this well-deserved recognition,” said Cathy Pierce, Chief Nurse Executive at OU Medicine. “We strive to create a nursing culture where our nurses can learn and thrive while making significant contributions to the field of nursing that improves outcomes for our patients. They truly deserve this honor.”
The 100 chosen nurses across the state will be honored in an invite-only celebration Sept. 10 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, featuring keynote speaker Tracey Moffatt. Out of all of the honorees statewide, OU Medicine has the most award recipients.
ABOUT GREAT 100 NURSES FOUNDATION
The Great 100 Nurses Foundation was founded by PK Scheerle, RN in New Orleans, Louisiana thirty-two years ago. Since its founding, the Great 100 Celebrations have honored thousands of Nurses across Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and now Arkansas! These exemplary Nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity, their contributions to the profession of Nursing, and their mentoring of others. It is a great honor in the life of the Nurse to be selected as a Great 100 Honoree and our Foundation helps each RN recognize themselves as Nurse Heroes.
We are very proud of our program. Each year, community, health care, government leaders, family, friends and peers join together to honor these Great 100 Nurses. The funds raised through the celebration are used not only to honor the nurses involved with the celebration, but to also support nursing advocacy, nursing scholarships, and nursing research for the betterment of lives, publication of nursing discoveries and the implementation of those discoveries.

Oklahoma’s largest healthcare network is still growing.
Be part of a rapidly growing, locally owned and operated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the health and wellness of eastern Oklahoma. As Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider, Saint Francis Health System invites you to experience a personally and professionally fulfilling career on the cutting edge of quality and technology.
Why now is a great time to join our team:
• $10,000 sign-on bonus and relocation assistance for experienced RNs*
• Great benefits, including paid time off, tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance, retirement plans, onsite childcare, adoption benefits and more
• We are a qualified not-for-profit organization, so you may be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness**
• With hospital campuses and Warren Clinic locations throughout eastern Oklahoma, we offer opportunities in virtually any nursing capacity
Saint Francis Health System includes:
• Saint Francis Hospital
• The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis
• Warren Clinic
• The Heart Hospital at Saint Francis
• Saint Francis Hospital South
• Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital
• Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee
• Saint Francis Hospital Vinita
• Saint Francis Glenpool (opening September 2018)
Explore nursing opportunities with Saint Francis Health System today. To view our current openings, please visit saintfrancis.com/nursing. For more information, please call 918-807-6048 or toll-free 800-888-9553.
*Applies to registered nurses in select patient units with at least two years of nursing experience. Two-year work commitment required.
**View program details at studentaid.ed.gov.
Equal Opportunity Employer: Disability/Veteran

Karlie Seymour, LPN knows how to make her patients feel happy. “This is their home away from home so they need to have a wonderful experience,” Karlie said.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Are you looking for skilled nursing after a recent hospitalization? Epworth Villa is a great place for you. A place to build strength, increase independence and nurture the mind, body and spirit. Here you will find a dedicated staff of therapists, an essential part of a quick and speedy recovery. The therapy team specializes in Post-Stroke care and Post-Orthopedic Care; though people come here for a wide range of reasons. The team focuses on planning around individual needs and personal goals to develop a plan of care with building strength, increasing independence and nurturing the mind, body and spirit.
One of the excellent nurses that I had the privilege of meeting is Karlie Seymour. Growing up in Yukon, OK, Karlie went to nursing school at Canadian Valley Tech in El Reno. She has been a nurse for almost 2 years and has been at Epworth Villa for 5 months. Working in the Skilled Nursing Care area, Karlie enjoys working with the patients. “I enjoy the bond that develops between the patient and me. In any case, I like to follow up with the patients and see how they are doing. There’s just something special about the bond that one develops.”
Asking Karlie what qualities make a good nurse, she said, “A nurse needs to have empathy, putting myself in the patient’s shoes and trying to know how the family feels. Sometimes, there is so much uncertainly on the patient’s part but I always try to meet them at their level. On a personal note, I have been through some rough times myself so I feel like I can relate to them a little better than some,” she replied. “Of course, a nurse needs to have knowledge of the medical skills too,” she added.
Did anyone influence you to become a nurse? I ask Karlie. “Both of my grandpas passed away from cancer. I was there when the nurses from Hospice were taking care of them in their last days. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be a nurse; that person that was there for someone if they didn’t have anyone else. I wanted to be the person that could advocate for them. I always wanted to help people in some way. That is why I like being a nurse,” she replied.
According to Karlie, her biggest asset is making sure everyone is having a good time. “I like to make people happy,” Karlie said. “I want to make sure they are having a good time while they are here and I want them to enjoy themselves. Sometimes, I sing to the patients and dance for them, making them laugh. Since I work in the skilled care unit, so many of the patients will be here for quite a while and this is their home for a while. After they leave here, they go back to their house, or a long term care facility. Either way, I want them to remember being here and remember having a good time. We sing and dance and just have fun! That is even good for them while they are healing, whether it is mentally or physically. Just having a good time and being happy can build up their strength,” Karlie said.
Karlie can be a leader and a follower. I can be a great leader and sometimes, that can be a problem for me. I need to learn how to delegate better. If something needs to be done, I am all about doing it myself, knowing that someone else can do it. I need to learn to trust my co-workers that they are capable of doing their job. I just need to back off and know that they can do it. Teamwork can be very important but it takes everyone to communicate. Communication is the key word,” Karlie said. “Trusting your co-workers builds a good relationship,” she added.
Karlie’s hobbies include spending as much time as she can with her 3 year old daughter, Lucy. I am very close to my family; especially my sister and we have that sister-time, hanging out together. I guess that is my main hobby; spending time with my family.”
What are your words of wisdom that you would like to share? I ask Karlie. “My words of wisdom are trust your gut. If you have a feeling something is wrong, go with that feeling. Just don’t give up, dig into the situation to find out what is wrong. Go with that feeling! You are usually right!”

FULL TIME STAFFING COORDINATOR
Village on the Park is hiring a Full Time Staffing Coordinator Monday-Friday, ACMA is required to join our AMAZING Family.
Apply in person at 1515 Kingsridge Dr., OKC 73170. Call Tammie, Director of Resident Care at 405-692-8700, or Email resume to tbohanan@rcmseniorliving.com

Chastity Horton, RN has a real passion for caring for patients, whether it is at Integris Baptist Hospital or Phoenix Home Health Agency.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

From the minute the patient entered the hospital, special care was given. Vital signs done and then, taken into an observation room to see if an overnight stay would be needed. The patient not knowing what was wrong, not sure what would happen next, a kind-hearted nurse came in, explaining the situation, calming the patient. This kind-hearted person was Chastity Horton, RN. After introductions, vitals again, and what to expect next, the words, let me know if you need anything, were spoken.
Chastity has been a nurse for 13 years. Not only does she work full time at Integris Baptist, she works full time for Phoenix Home Health Agency. ’’Yes, I work 7 days a week because that is what I love to do. It’s like my passion, sort of my hobby. Some people run or take up arts and crafts for a hobby. My hobby is taking care of people,” Chastity said with a smile.
Growing up in Mustang, OK, Chastity went to school at Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK. Asking her what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think a good nurse needs to be caring, compassionate, possess empathy and be a nurturer. All of these things are important for the nurse and the patient,” she said.
Chastity’s focus of her job is meeting the goals and needs of the patients. “My favorite part of my job is actually seeing the patient get better. Working in the Medical Decision Unit at Integris Baptist, we see all ages of people, the youngest being about 16. They might be here for chest pains, hydration, or just waiting on tests results. This is the holding area between ER and being admitted to a room. That is why we need to make sure the patient is comfortable in any way we can help them,” Chastity said.
Between both jobs, the hospital and home health, the biggest challenge is coming across people that cannot accept the true facts about their health. “Some people don’t want to put an effort into getting better and they don’t see their potential,” Chastity added.
Asking Chastity if she always wanted to be a nurse, she gave a smile and said, “no, not really. I actually wanted to be an air traffic controller. Why? I asked. “Oh, I just thought it would be cool!” she said.
“The reason that I wanted to be a nurse was because my first born had some health issues and I spent much of my time in and out of hospitals. With the tender loving care that my son received, I knew that I wanted to be just like those nurses and give that loving care to someone that could feel that same thing from me. All of the doctors, nurses and the medical team had such an impact on my life,” she said.
“My biggest reward about my job is receiving a blessing from that patient that I have taken care of. I take care of them but I am the one with the real blessing. I am blessed all the time! When I care for a patient, I put everything I have into it!” Chastity said.
Even though Chastity works long hours, she still has time to give pieces of her heart to her 3 kids; Brandon, 24, Allison, 21, and Madison, 20. “I try to balance out my life, doing what I love to do; taking care of others,” Chastity commented.
Asking Chastity to describe herself in 3 words and the reason why, she said, “I would say OUTGOING-because I like to meet people of all kinds, POSITIVE-I try to find the positive in every situation as it happens and FUN -I think it is important to have fun and laugh.” Chastity lives by the words, don’t look back, you’re not going that way!
Ending on a bit of humor, I asked Chastity to share a story about herself as a nurse…”As a new nurse, I worked days and was asked to go in at 3:00 a.m. to fill in. When I arrived, I had an order to drop an NG tube (nasogastric tube). Being a new nurse and working very early in the morning, all my brain was thinking was, the tube can be seen in the back of the throat. I gathered what I needed and went in and told the patient to open their MOUTH WIDE! As I was going towards their throat with the tube, Beverly, an LPN said, ‘honey, let me help you with this.”
Chastity, you are an excellent nurse, deserving recognition. Thank you.

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photo by Jeff Cohen Blake Leeper, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” – Vince Lombardi

by Brandon Rabhar

Blake Leeper, an eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder, knows all too well the hurt that accompanies falling down. Physically, he has fallen down time and again due to being born with no legs. In the eyes of the Paralympics community, he has fallen from grace due to self-admitted bad personal life decisions.
But every time Blake Leeper has fallen, he has got back up stronger than ever before. And each time, he has risen with a newfound purpose in his life.
Born in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Blake has defied the odds since the moment his parents Billy and Edith welcomed their baby boy in 1989.
“Being born missing one leg is a one in 40,000 chance,” said the jovial Leeper. “But being born without two legs? Those are astronomical numbers.”
Doctors told Leeper’s parents that the best case scenario for their legless son would be living life in a wheelchair. Fortunately for Leeper, his mother knew better. Edith worked as a nurse and was heavily involved in the medical community.
“This is not going to be his story,” Edith told those doctors and her husband nearly 30 years ago. Truly prophetic, Edith knew the key to changing the course of her son’s life was prosthetics.
Fast forward four years, and young Blake had major surgery so that his first legs would fit his little body better. For eight long weeks, Blake was in a full body cast and a wheelchair.
“I remember every single day being in that wheelchair and wanting to go outside. I knew in my head this was the last time I wanted to be in a wheelchair and it was,” recalls Leeper. “From that point on, I’ve been living life to the fullest.”
A purpose was born.
Blake, armed with legs for the first time, literally hit the ground running. He played any and every sport. He roller-bladed with his older brother Kris. So many times in those physically formative years, Blake’s legs would break or fall off, but he would always get back up. His main objective was to show the world how much he could do with his new legs.
In high school, Blake’s best friend just happened to be the best athlete on campus. His name was Coty Sensabaugh, who is currently starring at cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Coty pushed me in a lot of areas where other people were afraid to push me,” said Leeper. “When you’re dealing with people with a disability, others are afraid to push us. But the only way we can get better is to be challenged.”
After high school, Blake enrolled at the University of Tennessee as a pre-med student. He was ready to hang up the sneakers and become an orthopedic surgeon. That all changed the moment he saw Oscar Pistorius sprint across his television during the 2008 Olympics.
“It was the first time I saw an amputee on TV in a major sport,” said Leeper. “I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do! I have to get those blades!’”
A purpose was redefined.
Blake got his first pair of running legs the next year. Before he even had time to start seriously training, he and his parents drove 14 hours to Oklahoma to participate in the Endeavor Games and his first ever race. As a rookie competing in a field stacked with national champs, the odds were stacked against him. The doe-eyed novice took first place in all three events he raced in: the 100, 200, and 400 meters.
Two whirlwind weeks later, Blake found himself racing in an international event in Brazil. He ran even faster than he did in Oklahoma, won a silver medal and came close to conquering the world champion.
In 2012, Blake tied Pistorius’s record time in the 400 meters going into the London Paralympics. He was ranked #1 in the 100, #1 in the 200, and #2 in the 400. In London, Blake won the silver medal in the 400 behind previous inspiration Pistorius and took home the bronze in the 200.
Only a few years after getting his running blades, Blake became a celebrated media mainstay. He played alongside superstars Kevin Hart and Chadwick Boseman in the NBA All Star Celebrity Game. His positive personality was welcomed on The Queen Latifah show, the Arsenio Hall show, and the Naomi Campbell fashion show. For the first time in his life, Blake was making big money.
“My life changed and I wasn’t prepared for it. I left college to quit partying, and I changed my environment but I didn’t change the person inside of me,” said Leeper. “I started hanging with the wrong people. Track, TV, interviews, flying everywhere for events. The only way I knew to balance that was to drink.”
Relying on talent, Blake was able to pull off the delicate balancing act of partying and still competing and winning. He broke every American record. He seemed invincible on and off the track.
In 2015, Blake did cocaine and a week later raced in the US Paralympic Nationals, breaking the American record. But he failed the drug test. The punishment was a one year suspension, reduced from two years behind the promise that Blake would get clean. The story broke in the Los Angeles Times.
“I lost my career, I lost my sponsorships, and I lost my legs,” said Leeper. “I hit rock bottom.”
A purpose was knocked down. But it would get back up.
Determined to come back stronger and faster after serving his suspension, Blake needed to find a new pair of running legs. Aaron Holmes from Wiggle Your Toes connected Blake with Scott Sabolich Prosthetics.
Blake walked into the building, back in Oklahoma where his racing career had begun, for the first time wearing two different pairs of legs that he had duct taped together.
“I had to go into my closet of legs I had collected over the years and put them together myself. I walked out with three pairs of legs,” said Leeper. “Scott Sabolich Prosthetics, they’re the best in the world. Their facilities, their lab, their staff. And for them to want to take a chance on me was truly amazing.”
Refocused, Blake was ready to prove that he was the fastest amputee in the world. Along with the new legs, he obtained new coaches, management, a trainer, and a nutritionist in preparation for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Running was no longer a hobby or a job, it was his life.
One year after testing positive for cocaine, Blake dropped his 400 meters time from 48 seconds, an American record at the time, to 46.1 seconds. He made the 2016 Paralympics team.
“My parents and my girlfriend Sadie are in Rio. We got a dog and named it Rio. Two weeks before the Paralympics, I got a call. The USA approved my deal, but the international committee did not,” Leeper said. “I was devastated, but I knew it was a self-inflicted wound. I took responsibility.”
After that life altering phone call, Blake went to his room, took off his legs and didn’t leave for three days. His coaches had to bust down Blake’s door to get him out. He walked out of that door a new man.
A fun and easygoing soul, Blake was mad and trained with a chip on his shoulder. The 46.1 he ran qualified him for the 2017 able body national championships, making history as the first amputee to qualify for any national championships.
At trials, Blake ran a blazing 45.5, qualifying for the semifinals. The man with no legs beat 2016 Olympians. The next day, Blake ran a 45.25 and broke Pistorius’s amputee world record, a personal goal of his from day one. He finished 12th overall out of top 64 fastest runners in the nation.
A purpose fulfilled.
To make the 2020 Olympic relay team, Blake needs to cut his time down about half a second and place top 6 overall. That’s his primary focus on the track these days. But it’s getting his life off the track back on the right track that defines the man.
“I love to talk about my failures because those were the most important days of my life. Being suspended actually saved my life,” Leeper said. “That’s my message. It’s one thing being born without legs. I didn’t have a choice. But as an adult, I had to lie in the bed I made. My mamma always said that.”
Edith Leeper was right. Being in a wheelchair would not be her son’s story. His story is one of triumph, tragedy, redemption and most importantly, purpose. And it’s a story that he fully embraces and loves. “I’m living life to the fullest right now, trying to be present in the moment,” said Leeper. “But down the road, I’m gonna be like holy smokes, I played basketball with Black Panther!”

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If you could choose any age to stay forever, what age would it be and why? Northwest Surgical Hospital

I would choose 30 because of all of the knowledge I have learned.

Felicia Hassler, LPN

I would choose 21 because you feel like you know it all!

Tosha Burton, CMA

I would choose the age 28 and I would go to nursing school sooner!

Wilma Rowe, LPN

I would choose 28 because I finally graduated and had a career. I also got married.

Megan Smith, Physical Therapist Assist.

Q. I will be honest, I do not want to be talking to a counselor but my manager strongly suggested I make an appointment. She thinks I am being abused in my marriage but its been this way for a long time and I don’t think it is abuse. So I feel forced to be here. Can you tell me if you think my husband is abusive? —Andrea

A. Here is the Domestic Violence questionnaire that educated Andrea about abuse:
(These are the ones she marked yes)
1. Jealousy or possessiveness
2. Controlling or limiting contact with friends and family members.
3. Controlling of finances, making the abused partner ask for money, or refusing access to money.
4. Undermines parenting
5. Forces sex when the abused partner doesn’t want to or makes the abused partner perform sexual acts he/she doesn’t want to do.
6. Threatens with harm or acts in ways that scare or make the abused partner uncomfortable.
Andrea, “My husband has been engaging in these behaviors for a very long time. I have not shared my situation with anyone until my manager became concerned about me and began to ask questions. She said she noticed that I was withdrawn, quiet, uninvolved with others, just basically looked sad. I tried to deny everything then I began to cry and told her it was bad at home.
She told me we had an EAP and I needed to talk to a counselor. I procrastinated for awhile, then she asked again. She finally encouraged me to call while sitting in her office.
I realize I have been in an abusive marriage for many years. I thought I could stay in it, telling myself I can wait until our children are grown then I will leave. As I have been involved in counseling I have learned a lot about domestic violence and its long term affects. Recently I told my husband he was being abusive. He said, “You don’t use that word, who are you talking to? This is not abuse, if you would do what I ask I would not get upset. You are supposed to give me sex, that’s what wives do.”
I don’t know when I can leave him. He has told me I better not think of leaving or it would be bad for me. Even my children want me to leave him.
Domestic violence is real. It steals the lives of victims on a daily basis. Leaving may be a slow process. If you are in an abusive relationship seek out services to build a support system as you make a plan for leaving the abuser.

 

Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner Michelle Ellenburg.

by: Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner Michelle Ellenburg

School is back in session! For children it’s time to focus on learning – for parents it’s time to focus on keeping the family healthy during the school year. Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner Michelle Ellenburg, with SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital, has a few tips for parents, sharing ways to have a happy and healthy school year.
Rest up for better learning
During the summer, children and teens tend to go to bed later and sleep in. Their body clocks need to adjust to the earlier wake-up times for school. This is why students should start going to bed earlier.
For grade school students, experts recommend an average of 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Teens likewise need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. By keeping a regular bedtime – even on weekends – your child will be less likely to slip into sleep deprivation.
Ellenburg also recommends keeping electronics out of the bedroom. Using electronics before bed leads to poor quality sleep as well as less sleep. A relaxing, age appropriate bedtime routine can help kids wind down.
Avoiding back-to-school illness
Despite our greatest efforts, it’s not uncommon for kids to get sick at the start of a new school year.
“Back-to-school time is an excellent time for parents to make sure their children have had an annual physical and are up to date on vaccines,” says Ellenburg.
Aside from making sure your child is up to date on vaccinations, the next most important way to prevent illness is to teach your child good hand hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:
*Wet hands
*Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap
*Rub and scrub for 20 seconds
*Dry hands with a clean towel.
When washing with soap and water won’t work, hand sanitizer is a good alternative.
“In addition to good hand washing, keeping the counters and surfaces in your home clean with Lysol helps. Also, a daily multivitamin is great for children even when they aren’t sick. Something to look for in a vitamin that may help build their immune system is Vitamin C.” Ellenburg advised. “These vitamins are a great idea; however, they have not been proven to shorten the duration of viral illnesses. It’s just important for everyone to know they shouldn’t treat vitamins as medicine for a specific illness,” she added.
Incorporating some of these back-to-school tips into your student’s routine this year, may just contribute to a healthy and successful school year.
SSM Health Medical Group is open Monday – Friday, 7:45 am – 4:30 pm, and is located at 6205 N. Santa Fe, Suite 201, in Oklahoma City. To schedule an appointment with Michelle Ellenburg please call 405-272-8338.

Health care professionals, community partners and others interested in health care quality improvement in Oklahoma are invited to attend this free, in-person conference event, hosted by TMF Health Quality Institute, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) in Oklahoma. The TMF QIN-QIO is hosting four free, in-person conference events throughout Oklahoma between September and November 2018. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn free continuing education credits (CME, 2A for DOs, CNE, Pharmacy and medical ethics and professional responsibility) while attending sessions on the following topics.
„* Examining the opioid crisis in Oklahoma „* Implementing motivational interviewing techniques to help patients make lasting changes * Identifying and treating patients with sepsis„* Reducing antipsychotic medication use in older adults across care settings
Receive free assistance with Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting
In addition to attending the conference sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with TMF quality improvement consultants throughout the conference and for an hour at the end of each conference day. TMF consultants will be available to answer questions and provide assistance with reporting for MIPS. TMF consultants will also be available to answer questions about any other TMF QIN-QIO task or project.
Event Dates: All events are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, Tulsa, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, Lawton, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, McAlester

The Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners announced that early registration is now open for the organization’s annual conference. The conference will take place Oct. 17-19 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa.
“After several years at the same venue, we wanted to give our members a new experience, and this makes the conference more accessible for those in the Tulsa area who couldn’t attend in the past,” said AONP President Margaret Rosales.
The annual AONP Conference has grown to host nearly 400 nurse practitioners from across the state. The conference will offer workshops and seminars on a range of health care topics, including hypertension, obesity, coding and reimbursement and legislative advocacy.
“This year’s sessions cover everything from keeping up with the latest advancements in medicine, to running a practice, to advocating for the profession in halls of the State Capitol,” Rosales said. “There will be sessions to benefit every nurse practitioner at every level of experience.”
Conference organizers are offering discounted registration rates for students and for AONP members. Early registration discounts continue through Sept. 30. Conference sessions will be submitted to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing for continuing education credits.
For more information or to register for the conference, go to npofoklahoma.com.

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Kathy Smith is the nurse manager at The Rehabilitation Center at Norman Regional Health System.

by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer

For more than 40 years, Kathy Smith, RN, MSN, CRRN worked in critical care.
Taking care of and doing for her patients was all she had ever known.
But the next chapter of Smith’s nursing career would lead her into rehabilitation nursing and a change that would make her head spin.
“It was almost a year to get (critical care) out of me,” Smith laughed.
Now the nurse manager for The Rehabilitation in the Norman Regional Health System, Smith is looking for nurses to share in the kind of career resurgence she experienced.
“I probably have seen more of an integrated team in rehab than in med/surg or critical care,” Smith said. “Over there the nurse feels like it’s all me. In rehab it’s not, it’s physical therapy, speech, OT, the neuropsychologist.”
Smith is actively searching for certified rehab nurses.
The rewards in rehab nursing are both instant and long-term. Helping patients make those incremental improvements each day provide instant gratification.
Seeing them come back for the yearly Christmas party or just stopping by to say thank you bring all those feelings back.
“You really can establish relationships here and you want nurses that want to do that,” Smith said. “They’re not just in and out. Our average stay right now is about 10 days. Then you have those that are here about a month.”
“It’s a neat thing for us to see we were a part of that person’s recovery.”
Motivation and behavior modification are hallmarks of rehab nursing. Letting the patient do as much as they can while teaching them along the way to independence is vital.
“In rehab it really does take a more specialized rehab nurse to understand we need to mimic with the patient exactly what we want them to do at their house,” Smith said. “I’m trying to recruit nurses who really have a lot of patience and know you have to give them time to do what they need to do. You can’t rush them.”
“It’s all about teaching.”
Smith’s nurses see a range of patients from traumatic brain injuries and strokes to falls at home or other accidents.
“Most of the people who come to rehab have had a life-changing experience,” Smith said. “So many of these people have to be motivated. You have to have that nurse in rehab that can help that person become motivated.”
The majority of Smith’s career has been spent doing what patients could not.
Now her and her nurses spend their time restoring patient’s to their former lives.
Earning her CRRN designation solidified for her that she was indeed in a unique nursing field.
“I didn’t realize that until I got into it and then I saw why,” Smith said. “I’ve noticed after being in critical care you have more aggressive, assertive people in critical care. When I got to rehab I noticed the type of nurse here is more soft about what they do. They’re more patient about letting them do it. We’re taught as nurses to do everything for the patient.
“You get over here in rehab it’s different, it’s more therapy. You’re supposed to let them do as much as they can.”
One of the advantages Smith’s staff enjoys is being inside the hospital.
“You get a lot of support in the hospital especially from the (Medical Intervention Team) they’re a lifesaver,” Smith said. “We don’t want patients to code over here and rarely do we have a code. Now we also have the hospitalists over here and you have that support as internists for you. You also get the support of the nephrologists, the neurologists – plus the ER is right here.”
The Rehabilitation Center is designed to provide the highest quality care possible.
It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for the Adult Inpatient Rehabilitation program and the Stroke Specialty Program with an established pattern of excellence.
Smith said the facility participates in a rigorous CARF review every three years to maintain this accreditation.
The center’s 2017 scores show it’s making a difference for patients:
* 99 percent of patients say they would recommend The Rehabilitation Center to others.
* 97 percent of patients ranked The Rehabilitation Center as a 9 or 10 out of 10 compared to other rehabilitation centers.
* 80 percent of patients who were discharged from The Rehabilitation Center were able to return to an independent living setting.
* The average length of stay for a patient is 12 days.
The rehabilitation team includes:
* Rehabilitation physicians
* Rehabilitation nurses
* Physical therapy
*Occupational therapy
*Speech therapy
*Dietary services
*Social work and case management
*Psychology services
*Respiratory therapy
*Pharmacy
*Admission liaison

We Are Hiring
Rehab RN $3000 SIGN ON BONUS
$3000 ADDITIONAL BONUS for CRRN (Certified Rehab RN)
7p-7a Job #10400
Apply Online at NormanRegional.com
or call Julia Burleson BSN RN CHCR at 405.307.1554 for more information
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Norman Regional Health System
NormanRegional.com

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