Brenda Cooper, center, was named the TCMH 2010 nurse of the year. She is pictured with Doretta Todd- Willis, left, chief nursing officer, and Krista Elliott, medical surgical department nurse manager.

Texas County Memorial Hospital celebrated the work of its 125 nurses during National Nurses Week.

Multiple events and activities were held for TCMH’s nurses, and Brenda Cooper, a nurse in the medical surgical department, was chosen as the 2010 nurse of the year.

“Brenda goes above and beyond to care for her patients and for anyone else she comes into contact with,” Todd-Willis said. She noted that in the past Cooper has been recognized by her fellow employees as employee of the year and by the TCMH Customer Quality Team with the annual customer service award for a TCMH employee.

“Brenda has outstanding nursing capabilities and knowledge,” Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH director of nursing. “I am very proud to have her as a member of the TCMH nursing team.”

Thirty-one nurses were nominated by hospital managers, physicians and fellow staff members for the annual award. Of the nominees, the TCMH nurse managers chose Nancy Branson, Christine Brazier, Cooper, Jerri Sue Crump, Joyce Deeds, Amy Jordan, Courtney Owens, Jerry Pursifull, Jenny Sawyer, Jennifer Smith and Linda Sullins for the ballot. Each nominee was honored on Friday, and TCMH staff voted for their choice for nurse of the year.

“All of the nominees represent nurses that are recognized by others as ‘outstanding nurses’,” Todd-Willis explained.

Krista Elliott, TCMH medical surgical nurse manager and Cooper’s supervisor, described Cooper’s employee qualities as “what you want every employee to be.”

“Brenda’s patients are very well taken care of, she works extra shifts when she’s asked, and she is willing to help anyone,” Elliott said.

TCMH presented to Cooper a $100 gift certificate from the TCMH medical staff, $250 cash, a trophy and fresh flowers.

Nurses week is celebrated annually at TCMH. They work in many departments of the hospital – medical surgical, obstetrics, emergency room, surgery, intensive care, home health, hospice and clinics.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday the TCMH nurse managers held a carnival themed “skills lab” training session for all TCMH licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (R.N.).

The skills lab included 12 hands-on training stations for nursing activities such as medication reconciliation, tube feeding, tracheotomy suctioning and more. Nurses were awarded tickets based on their success with the games at each training station, and the tickets could be redeemed for a prize.

Eighty-seven nurses participated in the skills lab.

The nurse managers at TCMH hold the annual skills lab training during the week as a way to help nurses keep up with in-house educational needs.

Culminating Nurses’ Week, a breakfast or lunch was provided to all nursing staff on Friday.

The Life Uniform from Springfield came to TCMH to allow nurses and other employees the opportunity to shop for uniforms during the day.



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