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Liz Lambert, RN, is the clinical nurse manager for the Integris Canadian Valley Hospital Emergency Department.

by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer

A million raindrops interrupted the planned ribbon cutting for the new helipad at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital the last week of September.
The local chamber of commerce was there to ensure a ribbon would indeed be cut. And while the small gathering huddled under the ER portico drinking coffee, eating muffins and lamenting the weather, all Clinical Nurse Manager Liz Lambert, RN, could do was smile.
“It’s very exciting,” Lambert said, wrapped in a patient blanket to fight off the chill of a rainy, 52-degree September morning.
The day was planned to celebrate the completion of a more than $200,000 project that would literally pave the way for the hospital to be able to safely accept more patients.
Ironically, it was for this kind of wet, gray day that the helipad was truly designed.
“The helicopters still landed out there with no helipad,” Lambert said of the formerly open grassy area just a few feet outside of the ER. “We would try to push the gurney through the mud to get the patients off.”
“We did it. Whatever we had to do to take care of the patients. Now we have a safer way to get them in.”
Historically, nurses would have mud up to their ankles trying to push gurneys in after rain storms.
It was a less-than-ideal situation to say the least.
“The community really supported the idea of getting a helipad,” Lambert said. “Our own volunteer services raised $25,000 to donate towards the project.”
“It’s a better resource for the outlying communities to have a place to stop so they don’t have to go to the metro. We can take those higher acuity patients now and safely get them from the chopper to the building. It’s a huge step up for us and the whole West side of the state.”
Lambert came in to her role during the middle of the project some eight months ago.
With 20 years in emergency medicine, Lambert was most recently the chief clinical officer for a metro long term acute care facility.
“ER is something you just are. It’s part of who you are and people know that about you,” she said. “For me, it’s always where I’ve fit in.”
Coming into Canadian Valley, she quickly realized she wasn’t there to be a change agent.
“We have a well-equipped dedicated team of nurses who are truly passionate about doing better,” Lambert said. “It sounds cliche but we truly have that here.
“As somebody from the outside coming in to Integris and looking at the team we have I was a little awestruck that I had people who truly care – not just show up for a paycheck.”
“I started here proud of the team that was in place. That doesn’t happen very often. New managers usually come in and need to change things and I didn’t.”
Lambert credited her predecessor, Valerie Austin, MBA, BSN, RN, with putting together an amazing team. Austin, who was a former flight nurse, was also a driving force behind getting the hospital a helipad.
Now it’s full speed ahead for a hospital that prides itself as being the best first option for nearly the entire western half of the state.
“It feels like that sometimes,” Lambert laughed. “It can be overwhelming but it’s also enlightening to know that that’s what we are for them. When they think about where they are going to go to get help we’re the first place they think about. For a small community hospital that’s huge.
“We’re doing really well and this helipad is just another sign we’re doing a great job and we have a lot to offer.”
In the future, Lambert says she would like to help the hospital pursue a stroke designation. Getting the cath lab up and running to the point of viability is another goal, given that patients are having to go into the metro for those interventions.
“My long term goal is to get some of those things in place so we can keep some more of those patients in-house and really advance our practice as an ER,” she said.
And that means rain or shine.


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The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), along with its statewide partners, is celebrating the significant reduction in smoking rates among pregnant women in Oklahoma. Data have shown a dramatic decline of more than one-third (33.5 percent) in smoking among pregnant women since 2009. Along with this improvement, there has been a drop in infant deaths of more than 10 percent. In recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month, September is the ideal time to recognize these noteworthy improvements.

“To help continue this positive trend, we encourage women to be healthy before and during pregnancy,” said Director of Maternal and Child Health Service Joyce Marshall. “Many factors affect birth outcomes including smoking during pregnancy. Although we’ve seen a significant decrease in smoking rates, most recent data indicates that one out of every eight Oklahoma women continues to smoke during the last three months of pregnancy. As we celebrate improvements in smoking rates among pregnant women, we acknowledge that more needs to be done to support women and their families to quit smoking.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking during pregnancy remains one of the most common preventable causes of pregnancy complications and of illness and death among babies. Smoking during pregnancy can contribute to premature birth, low birth weight, certain birth defects, and miscarriage. Even being around others who smoke exposes a baby to chemicals which can have a lifelong impact. By quitting smoking, a pregnant mom can:
*Increase chances of the baby having healthier lungs.
*Increase the amount of oxygen for the baby, therefore, helping the baby grow.
*Reduce likelihood that the baby will develop asthma, allergies and other lung conditions.
*Decrease the baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
No matter how far along in the pregnancy, a mom and her baby will be healthier if she quits using tobacco and vapor products. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free statewide resource available for all Oklahomans who are thinking about quitting or ready to quit tobacco. Oklahomans can call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669) or register online at https://okhelpline.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Family and friends can support a woman’s healthy choice to quit smoking by not smoking around a pregnant mother. The helpline is also available for family and friends to provide additional support by quitting smoking themselves.
The Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility Initiative aims to reduce infant mortality through various programs and activities. A list of program partners is included below. To learn more about being healthy before, during, and after pregnancy visit http://iio.health.ok.gov.

At Grace Living Center-The Wilshire, we strive for excellence in the physical care of the people we serve and are fully committed to assisting their pursuit of meaningful lives.
Our mission– and approach to care — is to serve people with compassion and dignity.
We are currently taking applications for:
Full-time RN
· Must be currently licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma
· 1+ years experience in a skilled nursing environment strongly preferred
· Able to pass criminal background check
Grace Living Center-The Wilshire strives to provide full-time employees with advancement opportunities through training,
individual education funds, matching scholarships and the promotion of a career ladder.
At Grace Living Center-The Wilshire, we strive for excellence in the physical care of the people we serve and are fully committed to assisting their pursuit of meaningful lives.
We are a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center that also provides longterm care. Our mission — and approach to care — is to serve people with compassion and dignity.
Grace Living Center-The Wilshire, is an Equal Opportunity
Employer. This location is independently owned and operated.


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Pictured left to right: Fran Paschall, CTCA Enterprise Chief Nursing Executive; and Great 100 Nurse award honorees Traci Owen, Sherry Aaron, Deb Marouk and Sarah Spurek.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Tulsa is proud to announce that four nurses from its hospital are recipients of the ‘Great 100 Nurses’ award.
Founded 32 years ago, the Great 100 Nurses Foundation has recognized thousands of nurses across Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for exemplifying a concern for humanity, dedication to the profession of nursing, and mentoring of others.
The four CTCA® Tulsa honorees are: Traci Owen, RN, BSN, who works in Survivorship; Sherry K. Aaron, RN, is an infusion RN supervisor; Debbie Marouk, RN, BSN, BSBA is the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Clinic/Care Manager; and Sarah Spurek, RN, BSN, OCN works in the hospital’s infusion center.

Small-town lifestyle. Big-time benefits.
As a Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee nurse, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a friendly, small community and the resources of Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider.
Less than an hour from Tulsa, Muskogee features outstanding cultural and natural attractions, including numerous lakes and state parks that offer boating, skiing, golfing,
fishing and every other type of outdoor family recreational activity. Be part of a rapidly growing, locally owned and operated, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the health and wellness of eastern Oklahoma. 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**
To learn more about nursing opportunities at Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee, please call Melissa at 918-558-8028 or email Mfinklea@saintfrancis.com. *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.
EOE Protected Veterans/Disability

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Vanessa Geimausadele enjoys working at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. She is currently a student nurse and is thankful to be working with some of the best nurses around.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) takes pride in its role as a medical home to nearly 19,000 America Indian people representing over 200 federally recognized tribes living in central Oklahoma. Prevention, wellness and excellent health care are OKCIC’s top priorities.
OKCIC is increasing positive health care outcomes for American Indians in central Oklahoma, while maintaining health care costs. By making American Indians healthier, the clinic strengthens Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma and the nation.
Greeted by a friendly staff at OKCIC, I meet Vanessa Geimausadele, student nurse. “I’m learning from the best of the best,” she said. “I’ve been here about 8 months now and I feel like I am meant to be here, helping the patients,” she added.
Vanessa grew up in the small town of Carnegie, OK and went to Riverside Indian Boarding School. Asking Vanessa how she decided to be a nurse, she said, “Growing up, it seemed like I was always the one taking care of others and it made me feel good to be able to help someone in that way. I felt like it was what I was meant to do,” she replied.
In your opinion, what qualities make a good nurse? I ask Vanessa. “I think a good nurse needs to be compassionate, have plenty of medical knowledge, and get alone with her co-workers. When I come to work, I know that I am working with some of the best nurses around. They are all there for me if I need to ask them a question and they are very helpful. They make me feel good about myself,” she answered.
If you were giving advice to someone going into the medical field, what would you tell them? “I would tell them that they really need to want to go into the medical field. I would also tell them to be ready to learn because there is a lot of studying to do, don’t give up on yourself and know that you have to work hard and work towards that goal at the end, to be a nurse,” she replied.
“When I started working here at the clinic, it was really hard but I continued on and now, I am amazed at the many things that I am learning from all the nurses. I want to reach the end. Since I have been at the OKCIC, I have enjoyed working with the patients. So far, all of the people have been so nice to me. I know that if I have a problem with anything, I can ask any of the nurses and they will be happy to help me,” Vanessa said.
Asking Vanessa if she wanted to be a nurse when she was little, she said, “When I was real little, I wanted to do exactly what my father did. He was a firefighter and of course, that is what I wanted to do,” she said with a laugh. “I am pretty sure being a nurse is a little bit safer.”
Vanessa stays busy outside of work. “I like to go to the gym often. I also play softball and volleyball, and my daughter, Mariska plays softball and basketball and it seems like the both of us are always on the go.”
I asked Vanessa if anyone influenced her to be a nurse. “Actually, it was my daughter. She is my biggest encourager, motivator and she really keeps me going, even at times when I thought I was going to give up. She always sends me messages on my phone and gives me little notes to make me stay focused and strong,” she said. “I am very proud of Mariska. We are so good for each other.”
Describing her personality in three sentences, Vanessa said, “I would say funny. I like to laugh and make others laugh. I am compassionate and I think that is why I love this job so much. I am also outgoing and like to make sure I am going on the right path in case anyone follows in my footsteps,” she said. “With those three things, I seem to get along with everyone,” she added.
One last question for you, I tell Vanessa. Do you have any words that you seem to live by daily? “I just stay positive and go along with the flow,” she said.

AllianceHealth Midwest
Small but BIG.
Small enough to care about you,
big enough to care for you!
We are welcoming experienced RN’s for all areas to apply!

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The Toby Keith Foundation, Andy Alligator’s and Ideal Homes are hosting the 2nd Annual OK Kids Korral 5k and one mile run/walk. The proceeds help support operations of OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home-away-from-home or children battling cancer.
This year, the sanctioned 5k will start and stop at Andy Alligator’s in Norman with an added bonus. Every registrant will received a free Andy Alligator’s wristband ($28.95 value) in their race bag along with a free t-shirt and medal. Other activities include giant slides provided by Allison’s Fun Inc. and a touch a truck opportunity that morning.
The 5k serves as a wonderful opportunity for the community to help support the services offered at OK Kids Korral. “We see the journey our kids take while they are fighting cancer and so we encourage everyone to either run the 5k or come out in their boots (literally) and walk a mile with us in celebration of every child battling cancer,” said Lauren Polchinski, development supervisor at The Toby Keith Foundation.
To register for the 5k or to run/walk the 1 mile, visit okkidskorral5k.eventbrite.com. Online registration closes on October 11. Currently, it is $30 through October 11th to register and will be $35 the day of registration. Groups of 10 or more are only $20.
For questions about the run or other ways to support OK Kids Korral, call the foundation at 405-271-6552 or visit www.tobykeithfoundation.org.

A Great Place to Work ~
Join Our TEAM Today
We are hiring RNs for
Medical-Surgical – RNs
Emergency – RNs
Applicants should apply at


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Nao Galbraith, Wendy Wilson and Kira Hemphill of the OKC-County Health Department are pictured with their winning poster entry.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program recently recognized nutrition educators from the OKC-County Health Department for their entry in a poster contest at the 2018 Registered Dietitian Training.
In addition to speakers and networking opportunities, the training featured the annual Laura K. Savage Creativity in Nutrition Education Award. This award allows students and nutrition educators to showcase their talent and creativity by participating in a poster contest. The winning entry, Oh, the Ways You Can Feed, was submitted by Nao Galbraith, Kira Hemphill and Wendy Wilson of the OKC-County Health Department.
The trio of registered dietitians created this educational tool to help inform participants about the various methods available for providing breastmilk to their babies during the first days of life. The poster also gives resources for these methods such as the importance of skin-to-skin, how to hand express milk, how to spoon-feed baby and laid-back breastfeeding.
The Laura K. Savage Creativity in Nutrition Education Award is named in memory of Laura K. Savage, former WIC Nutrition Education Coordinator. Laura lost her life in 2001 in a car accident. Nutrition education was Laura’s passion. She was dedicated to developing new ways to educate participants about WIC.
There were 44 students from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma participating in the contest. Five entries from WIC nutrition educators across the state also were submitted.

Great opportunity to work with a growing healthcare company with excellent benefits, including great employer matching 401K, Christmas bonus and the opportunity for quarterly bonuses!
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· RN Med Surg Nights (7pm-7am) FT – South & North Campus
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If you weren’t a nurse what would you be? Integris Southwest Medical Center Intensive Care Unit

I really don’t know.

Alexis Carter, RN

I’d be a marine biologist and swim with the sharks.

Diamon Miller, RN

Maybe a writer, but really I’m doing what I love.

Melyssa Ray, RN

Lab work somewhere in geology.

Angel Holtsclaw, RN

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Q. Is anyone else annoyed, irritated, angered by the number of pharmaceutical commercials on TV? They are like mini movies selling people drugs that will make them break out in song and skip down the sidewalk. My concern is the number of people who believe it. Is there anything we can do to stop them?

A. I wish I had the magic wand that “poof” and they all would disappear. But since no wand the only thing we can do is turn the channel or mute when they come on.
Pharmaceutical companies are getting rich, rich, rich convincing people how much better their lives would be with MORE drugs. Let me be very clear and say, “some medications are necessary and life saving and should NOT be stopped. But many of these medications are not being advertised on TV. They don’t need people singing and dancing to sell them.
But please beware when you see an advertisement that begins with, “if your anti-depressant is not working, talk to your doctor about adding drug Z.” OR you could talk to your therapist about trying to change something in your life that is NOT working. I have never seen a job or marriage that has been saved because someone added more drugs!!
But here is the caveat, it takes more energy to go to therapy and initiate changes than it does to “pop a pill.” Even when the side effects are quickly shared, people still pay more attention to the butterflies than the hemorrhaging.
It would be interesting to know how much money Big Pharma spends on these elaborate advertisements. Because the prices that are charged for many of these medications are more than people can afford. When you have to decide on buying your medication vs groceries that is wrong.
The propaganda related to drugs is very real. Remember when the tobacco industry said there were NO chemicals in cigarettes that would cause addiction? How about the wonderful opiates for pain and benzodiazepines for anxiety? Drug companies get rich off other people suffering and they smile while they do it and lie without remorse.
Turn off the advertisements, get up off the sofa, go for a walk, clean the bathroom, call a friend but don’t call a doctor for medicine. Call a therapist, discuss a healthier life style and use your “drug” money to go to a movie or have dinner with friends.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com



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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, Oct. 17, 2018, Tulsa, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, Lawton, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, McAlester

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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.