For ten years Thea Sherlock, RN, has provided oncology care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in West Park, NY. “The safety of our patients comes first,” she says.
At Vassar’s Med/Surg, all oncology patients are cared for – before, during and after chemotherapy. There are major reconstructions; some patients are hospice bound.
Thea took her focus on patients, coupled with a commitment to fellow members and a desire to strengthen NYSNA inside her facility, and signed up for NYSNA’s Steward Training. “A steward’s voice is needed,” she says.
One area of concern to Thea: increased reliance on high-tech electronic records. She sees the prospect of confusion and misplaced records. “We cannot allow patients to get lost in the electronic shuffle,” she warns.
Above all, Thea sees pervasive understaffing as the most critical problem at Vassar. “All units have staffing issues.”
Steward Training helps her frame issues, allows for interactions with others seeking these leadership roles and builds confidence in communication skills.