Transcending the Chaos of Cancer
May 21, 2018 – Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN, Advanced Oncology Nursing Resources, Huntington Beach, California
Oncology: The Only Choice
May 22, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Nursing Through the Prism of Childhood
May 27, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Nurturing Patients and Nurses
June 02, 2018 – Amita Patel, NP-C, AOCNP, Regional Cancer Care Associates
An Oncology Pioneer
June 03, 2018 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D., Childress Regional Medical Center Cancer Clinic, Childress, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
Camping for Health
June 02, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Improving Care Against All Odds
June 09, 2018 – Sr. Rosemary Donley, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, Duquesne University
In the Hands of an Angel
June 10, 2018 – Jitsuda Sitthi-Amorn, M.D., St. Jude Children
The Day That Snow Brought Sunshine
June 17, 2018 – Patricia Jakel, M.N., RN, AOCN, Solid Tumor Program, UCLA, Santa Monica
Monday Morning Musings
June 20, 2018 – Justin Baker, M.D., St. Jude Children
Currently Viewing
Kathy Youngblood, Private Investigator
June 30, 2018 – Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, St. Jude Children
This Oncology Nurse Gives Back What She Receives
July 07, 2018 – Debbie Talley
The Oncology Nurse Is an Inspiration and an Example
July 08, 2018 – Marilyn K. Stade
Extraordinary Empathy in the World of Oncology
July 16, 2018 – Andrea Valera, RN, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
How One Oncology Nurse Exhibits the Best of Humanity
July 22, 2018 – Jacquelyn Pryor, Ph.D.
Pairing Diligence With Compassion in Cancer Care
July 21, 2018 – Margot Goodman
A Shining Star in Oncology Nursing
July 22, 2018 – Charles Turano
Compassion and Kind Ways in Oncology Nursing
July 26, 2018 – Edith Holder
Giving Is in Her DNA
July 29, 2018 – Deborah Dion
By My Side Through Cancer Treatments
July 27, 2018 – Malinda Blackshaw, RN
The Oncology Nurse Who Radiates Pink
July 28, 2018 – Eleanor K. Waldrup
Always a Step Ahead as an Oncology Nurse
August 04, 2018 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.
This Oncology Nurse Is Not Just Any Superhero
August 05, 2018 – Keitha V. Johnson
When Compassionate Cancer Care Meets Imagination
August 11, 2018 – Daniela Maniscalchi
An Anchor in a Time of Tumult
August 12, 2018 – Lillian Arleque, Ed.D.
From Devastation to Inspiration
August 18, 2018 – Wendy Tucker
Master of the Medical Matrix
August 19, 2018 – Linda McCarthy

Kathy Youngblood, Private Investigator

BY Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, St. Jude Children
PUBLISHED June 30, 2018
From left: Katherine Youngblood, M.S., B.S.N., OCN, CPN, CPHON, and Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC
From left: Katherine Youngblood, M.S., B.S.N., OCN, CPN, CPHON, and Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC - PHOTOS BY ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL / PETER BARTA
During more than 30 years of caring for high-risk childhood cancer patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Katherine “Kathy” Youngblood has been a model of quality and compassionate nursing. She has been influential in the careers and lives of many people, and she has shown me these qualities time and time again as I rely on her to help facilitate unit function, productivity and efficiency. Kathy is a true leader. Her thoughtful communication throughout the hospital helps decrease delays in care while providing consistency for patients and families.

In 2015, the hospital received designated magnet status, a recognition of excellence granted by the American Nurses Association, because of the continued efforts of nurses like Kathy, who has worn many hats during her time at St. Jude and mentored hundreds of nurses along the way. Kathy is one of the most dedicated and thorough nurses I’ve ever met, but her best strengths are her critical-thinking skills, attention to detail, mentorship and willingness to do whatever it takes for patients.

At St. Jude, we are dealing with pediatric patients with cancer, and chemotherapy regimens are a big part of treatment for some. It can often be difficult for patients and families because of the time it takes and the care needed to avoid infection. Kathy essentially manages the St. Jude “Room of Chemo,” or ROC, on weekends. Her job is to ensure that all patients receive their medications in a safe and timely manner. A big struggle for nurses serving on the weekend involves making sure that patients receive the correct orders; when the clinics are closed, it’s not a simple matter of calling them for verification. Kathy meticulously researches orders from clinics and will go to any length to make sure all patients receive their medications.

Kathy also can often tell you what any scheduled patient’s plan is for the rest of the day. She is great at navigating the protocols and patients’ charts to find important information, and many co-workers go to her when they have questions or problems locating order information. She has been nicknamed “the Private Investigator” by her co-workers.

Another challenge of the weekend shift: the unexpected nature of wait times. Holdups happen, and they can be frustrating for anyone, especially parents and children going through an experience like cancer. Kathy is always open with families about what is causing the delays. She seems to have the right read on what to say and can make anyone crack a smile.

This ability to communicate with families extends to her relationships with co-workers, as well. She is always willing to drop what she is doing to help others, assisting with chemotherapy, computer systems and compliance data. She is a very encouraging team player, and through her participation and leadership in many areas, she emboldens our staff to strengthen their own career growth and development. Kathy has reached level 5 in St. Jude’s Clinical Advancement Program, which recognizes and rewards nurses for their contributions; is an Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) chemotherapy and biotherapy instructor; supports Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse certification for peers by providing study materials and tips; serves on the national editorial board for the APHON Counts newsletter; and is a magnet champion, providing leadership for magnet status.

Her attention to detail and compassion for others are excellent qualities, but to me, what makes her an extraordinary healer is her ability to care for patients.

Recently, in spectacular fashion, Kathy helped resuscitate and save the life of an 8-year-old boy who had developed a severe fever accompanied by an abnormally low white blood cell count. After IV antibiotics were administered, he became hypotensive and required a very aggressive fluid resuscitation, stress-dose hydrocortisone and norepinephrine drip.

When the boy was brought to the intensive care unit for further management, two peripheral IV lines were started quickly, push-pull bolus was given without a hitch, and broad-spectrum empiric antibiotics and blood were administered promptly. It was an amazing display of clinical knowledge and poise under pressure. Her efforts and those of the others with her helped save that child’s life that day, and Kathy has many other stories like that.

Kathy is one of the most extraordinary nurses I have ever met, and her care for patients and families continues to inspire St. Jude staff. It’s been an honor to serve with her and have her experience on my team. She is an outstanding influence for many nurses at the hospital, and we’re grateful to have someone like her.
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