Caring for the caregiver also contributes to patients’ experiences
When Kenneth P. Hall, R.N., joined Norton Audubon Hospital’s 5 East cardiac telemetry unit in October 2011, little did he know how profound his impact would be there. Now, almost seven years later, Ken’s patients and colleagues do not know what they would do without him.
Valentina M. Nikic, patient care associate, describes Ken this way: “He’s special because he is a leader, teacher, advocate and friend.”
“Any time I think about the nurse I want to be or the nurse I’d want to take care of my loved ones, Ken comes to mind,” Valentina said. “He is truly extraordinary and makes every patient and co-worker feel welcome and important.”
The 5 East team includes many new nurses who have found a mentor in Ken as they begin their health care careers. He enjoys being the father figure on the unit and helping guide a new generation of nurses and clinical staff as he nears the end of his 23-year nursing career.
“If you’ve got that knowledge and that experience, you’ve got to share it with everybody the best you can,” Ken said. “And our nurses are getting better every day.”
Jessica D. Dambros, R.N., the unit’s nurse manager, appreciates Ken’s experience, influence and impact on her team.
“There’s a whole generation of nurses who need to find their way, and if we have a Ken on our unit — and I’m lucky enough to have a Ken on my unit — I know we’ll be OK,” Jessica said.
A look at his past helps explain how Ken developed his unique style and influence. After leaving his 13-year military career, Ken’s sister-in-law, also a nurse, suggested he consider a nursing career. Although he had not considered that path before, Ken realized that the same things he enjoyed most about his military service — helping others as part of a disciplined, interdependent team — he would experience as a nurse.
After nearly a quarter century in health care, Ken feels he’s found the secret to being a great nurse.
“Teamwork, not being afraid to ask questions and having that general concern for your patients — if you do all that then everything comes along smoothly,” Ken said.