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June 13, 2006 > Exceptional Nurses Honored For Their Efforts

Exceptional Nurses Honored For Their Efforts

Nursing Care Makes the Difference

Quality nursing care. It's a big part of what makes Washington Hospital a great place to receive care. Nurses are on the frontlines of patient care each and every day. That's why each year, the Washington Hospital Medical Staff singles out a few of the hospital's standout nursing professionals with Nurse of the Year awards.

A study published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine that was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Abt Associates, concluded that a higher proportion of hours of nursing care correlates with better patient care in hospitals. Specifically, the study found that a higher proportion of hours of care per day and a greater absolute number of hours of care per day provided by RNs were associated with shorter lengths of stay; fewer urinary tract infections and incidences of upper gastrointestinal bleeding; and lower rates of pneumonia, shock and cardiac arrest, according to the American Nurses Association.

Simply put, high quality nursing care and strong nurse to patient ratios, such as is found at Washington Hospital, promotes better patient outcomes.

"It is the nursing staff that is here around the clock," according to Carol Worden, Washington Hospital's Director of PeriOperative Services and supervisor of one of this year's award recipients. "They become the advocate for the patient and family in ways that other disciplines can't be as they are not in contact with the patient as constantly and consistently as the nursing staff is."

And what is the importance of recognizing the quality care of Washington Hospital's nursing staff?
"Nurses aspire to deliver quality care," says Nurse Manager Harold Smith, another supervisor of one of this year's recipients. "A role model such as the Nurse of the Year helps establish a base line for achievement. It empowers nurses to model their practices after their peers."

Nursing professionals at Washington Hospital perform vital functions all over the hospital.  "The nursing staff in the Medical Imaging Department provide compassion, perform clinical assessment of our patients, assist the radiologists and technologists with patient procedures and provide the clinical expertise and professionalism and caring for our patients," according to Don Wood, Director of Medical Imaging at Washington Hospital and supervisor of another of this year's recipients.

Chosen for their outstanding performance, the following individuals received the prestigious Nurse of the Year awards:

Judy Farro, Staff Nurse III, Radiology Department

Judy began working at Washington Hospital in August of 1993. She came to the hospital with several years of experience working in radiology departments, and was promoted to a Staff Nurse III position in December of 2003. Judy is known by her peers and managers as a strong patient advocate and works very hard to provide a positive experience for patients coming for care in the Radiology Department.

Martha Kennedy, Staff Nurse III, PACU

Martha began at Washington Hospital in April of 1978 and is currently a Charge Nurse in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). She is always upbeat, hard working, and willing to help. She is seen as a role model by her peers. She is respected by her coworkers for her many strengths. She also is highly appreciated by surgeons and anesthesiologists for her strong clinical skills. Martha has been promoted to a Staff Nurse III position and she is a member of the Pain Management Committee for Washington Hospital. She has been instrumental in having an in-service for PACU staff on peripheral nerve blocks, as well as the development of a competency for epidural catheter removal. She is very committed to the department, the hospital and especially to patients.

Luanne Sadueste, RN, Float Pool

Luanne began at Washington Hospital in July of 2003 and is a member of the Float Pool. She also has been cross-trained for the inpatient diabetic educator role and is currently being cross-trained as the second house supervisor for the night shift. She has strong clinical skills and is able to float to all Medical/Surgical areas, as well as Obstetrics. She has a very positive attitude with patients, peers, physicians and management. She also participates as a member of the hospital's Administrative Shared Governance Council. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in nursing administration from San Jose State University.

Kelly Van, RN, 3 West

Kelly has worked at Washington Hospital as a Staff Nurse for 4 1/2 years, and has assumed duties as the Charge Nurse on 3 West. She was one of the first recipients of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, an award presented to nurses who have been nominated by patients or their families for the extraordinary care they have provided, presented by The DAISY Foundation, a Foundation for the Elimination of Diseases Attacking the Immune System (DAISY). Kelly has assumed co-chairmanship of the Quality Shared Governance Council, and she serves on the project committee for Horizon Order Management (HOM), part of a new suite of information systems being implemented at Washington Hospital. Kelly has grown over the last few years in her professional performance as well as in her involvement with organizational committees and activities at the hospital.

To learn more about careers at Washington Hospital, visit and click on "Careers."  Coming soon to InHealth, a Washington Hospital Channel; Voices InHealth: Careers in Health Care.  In this show, Washington Hospital staff members discuss a variety of health care career opportunities. InHealth Channel 78 is available to Comcast subscribers in Newark, Union City and Fremont.

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