Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | April 5, 2019

New Patient Transport Team Will Help Navigate Construction


Two members of the patient transport team.

On the day of their surgeries, patients and their families have a lot on their minds. The last thing they need to deal with is getting lost. That’s why Duke Raleigh Hospital is debuting a new patient transport system to help visitors during construction.

“We knew that when construction started, there would be big impact to patients and visitors,” said Diane Mitchell, Manager of Operations Administration for Duke Raleigh Hospital. In-patient transportation had already been trialed using nursing staff, but the operations team wanted to do more to support patients—especially once construction begins on the same-day surgery unit and closes the road.

Mitchell met with colleagues at Duke Hospital in Durham and modeled a program on theirs. The new team will meet patients in front of the hospital, transport them where they need to go on a golf cart, then pick them back up and bring them to discharge when the time comes. Not only are patients and their families helped, but the new program takes the burden off of nurses, who can stay with their other patients.

“I’m excited, because we’re really helping the patients and the families,” Marshika Judd, Lead Patient Transporter, said. “Now, somebody will be here to greet the patients and visitors and get people where they need to be. Plus, the transporter can talk to them, give them a good spirit and a good smile on the way down.”

The patient transport team came on board at the end of March. They are currently assisting with discharge on all in-patient units, and the new program will officially go live with same-day surgery once construction begins.

You can contact the team by calling (919) 862-5528. A team member will also be stationed at the volunteer nursing station in the lobby area.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | March 27, 2019

Team Gives Colleague Gift of Hearing

Fifth Floor Surgical Oncology Unit Staff.

For most of Nicole Medley’s life, holding a simple conversation has been difficult.

“Every day was a struggle communicating or having a conversation with anyone,” said Medley, a Duke Raleigh Hospital NA/HUC, who has suffered from hearing impairment since childhood and was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss. “I have trouble with high pitches, low pitches, communicating in a public place with other people talking, soft spoken people, and women’s voices.”

She’s relied on reading lips and asking people to repeat themselves or talk louder to communicate with others and deliver patients care. But Medley was recently given the gift of hearing, thanks to the fundraising efforts of her teammates on Duke Raleigh Hospital’s fifth floor surgical oncology unit.

“She is such an inspiration to me and to this entire floor,” said Ashley Green, a NA/HUC, who works alongside Medley weeknights on the floor. “We had to do something. The poor thing couldn’t hear!”

Green and Aleisha Richardson, clinical nurse III, RN, CMSRN, started a project to raise money to buy Medley hearing aids in November 2017 after noticing Medley trying to understand what they were saying by reading their lips. They sold badge reels and used word of mouth to raise funds. This month, the team surprised Medley with the money to purchase the hearing aids.

“When I was surprised with my hearing aids, immediately I started crying, not because I was sad but in happiness,” Medley said. “I couldn’t believe my amazing coworkers could do such a kind and selfless act for me.”

The gift, Medley said, has changed her life. She hears sounds she hasn’t heard since she was a child—birds chirping, the wind, wheels against pavement. She no longer has to occupy the front row in her classes at Vance-Granville Community College where she’s pursing her RN degree because she can actually hear the lectures. And there’s no more reading lips.

The gift, Medley said, makes her grateful beyond words.

“It’s such an amazing feeling, honestly, to be able to hear. I don’t think there’s enough words to say how it makes me feel,” she said. “They have truly changed my life forever and I will never forget the kind, selfless act they have done for me. I couldn’t ask for a better work family.”

For her team, giving the gift was just as rewarding.

“I have known Nicole personally for about a decade and she has been through so much, and it was just so rewarding to feel like I’ve played a small part in making her life a little easier,” said Green. “She deserves this more than anyone that I know!”

–By Erin McKenzie

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | March 21, 2019

Sharing Knowledge, Helping out for the Benefit of the Team

Whether it’s precepting a new nurse or serving on a committee, LaShunda Thorpe is dedicated to helping out her Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh team and her patients, any way she can.

In her role, Thorpe, BSN, RN, CMSRN, CNIV, accompanies her patients through their journey from an initial cancer diagnosis through their post-treatment appointments. In addition to showing endless compassion and kindness to her patients, she’s also dedicated to helping out her team and continuously pursuing professional development opportunities.

“If someone needs help, I want to be there for them,” she said. “It’s important to me to lend a hand to my colleagues to ensure our patients have the best experience they possibly can, especially given everything they go through with cancer.”

Thorpe always jumps at the chance to serve as preceptor for new nurses in the clinic. She enjoys the opportunity to share knowledge and help new staff get acclimated.

“I could not have asked for a better preceptor – LaShunda was always willing to answer questions and serve as a mentor in any way possible,” said Kelsey Gilchrist, BSN, CNII. “Starting in a new nursing role can be intimidating, but she was a bright light of encouragement. We’re lucky to have her.”

Alicia Johnson, RN, a nurse navigator in the clinic, said Thorpe is always willing to learn something new for the benefit of the clinic and their patients.

“LaShunda doesn’t hesitate to take on new responsibilities,” she said. “Recently, we were in a meeting discussing a new role – the first hand to shoot up and volunteer to take on the role was LaShunda. That’s very typical of her willingness to always help.”

Thorpe often attends conferences, professional development courses and serves on several committees to absorb as much knowledge as she can. She always brings back any new information to her team and shares it in huddles, staff meetings and by email.

“Anything I can do to stay up-to-date on procedures and ways to improve care, I’ll do for my team and our patients,” she said. “I always bring everything I learn back to the clinic so that everyone can benefit.”

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | March 12, 2019

Certification Allows Nurse to Help Team, Patients

For nearly 30 years, Angela McClendon, BSN, RN, CPAN, CNIV, has been caring for patients and her fellow nurses in the Post-Anethesia Care Unit (PACU) at Duke Raleigh Hospital.

She’s been certified in her specialty for 27 years and a certification coach for 26 years. She’s a compassionate caregiver and a motivating advocate for her fellow nurses pursuing their certifications.

“Getting certified in my specialty made me more knowledgeable and helps me provide the best care to my patients,” she said. “I’ve been able to help my colleagues gain that same confidence in the care we’re delivering together by being a certification coach.”

She arranges certification review courses, helps nurses find the right review books, and assists throughout the studying period to ensure everyone is prepared for their exam. Currently, more than half of the nurses in her unit have certifications.

“It’s important for me to be an advocate for others getting their certifications because it’s really an enlightening experience,” she said. “And, nurses now have the added perk of getting a certification or recertifications bonus, which wasn’t around when I first received my certification.”

For McClendon, certification is also an important part of being a Magnet-designated hospital.

“As a Magnet hospital, it’s important to live up to Magnet standards and encourage as many nurses as we can to get their certifications. I’m proud to support my team, and proud that Duke Nursing supports them, too.”

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | March 11, 2019

Duke Raleigh Services Expand to Holly Springs

This month marks the official opening of clinics and services run by Duke Raleigh Hospital at Duke Health Holly Springs, a new multi-disciplinary Duke location at 401 Irving Parkway in Holly Springs.

To the facility, which already provides urgent care and pediatric services, we added physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and laboratory services. Radiology services are also planned in the future.

We are excited to offer these additional services, and to continue to see Duke Health’s presence expand in Wake County to provide high quality care close to home.

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