An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring TINA PURSGLOVE, RN, OCN [THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY WEXNER MEDICAL CENTER JAMES CANCER HOSPITAL, COLUMBUS, OHIO]
Tina Pursglove, RN, OCN, and Mollie Maggied, M.H.A., B.S.N., RN, CPN, ATC - PHOTOS BY BRITT LAKIN
When I think of an oncology nurse, I see Tina. Tina has been providing exceptional patient care to oncology and bone marrow transplant patients for the past 33 years.
I have a unique relationship with Tina, as I first met her when she was caring for my father during his bone marrow transplant. I reconnected with her when I became a nurse on the unit where my father was cared for during his transplantation. Tina not only remembered who I was, but also remembered all of the members of my family who had visited my father when he was in the hospital. I remember during orientation when I was giving her a report and she asked for the patient’s wife’s name. Luckily I had looked it up and written it down because someone earlier had said, “Tina is getting the patient, and she will want to know the family member’s names.”
As I reflected back on this, I thought, “This is how she remembers my family. It’s a connection she makes with every patient she cares for — knowing everyone in the room and remembering those names for years to come.” Whenever someone else on the staff is having trouble remembering a previous patient’s name, they search for Tina to help them with the answer.
Tina brings a positive guiding light to every patient. She ensures that they are not only receiving the best care from her, but from every other nurse who takes care of them. She is the epitome of a primary nurse, checking in on her patients and helping to direct their care, even if she is not assigned to them that particular shift. Tina guarantees that patients and caregivers have the support they need during their time in the hospital, along with providing support after their stay by seeing them in the ambulatory clinic. She is always going above and beyond to make patients on the unit feel as if they each are the only patient she has. Many physicians will say, “We need Tina to be with this patient today,” knowing that she will motivate that person to get out of bed to sit in the chair, when, in reality, Tina will have the patient walking laps in the afternoon. As evidenced by her oncology nursing certification, she has expert knowledge of the specific needs of the oncology patient, and combines this with an incredible level of compassion to provide exquisite care to each patient. She has a drive in her that patients not only see but also feel.
Tina supports the staff members who care for patients alongside her with the same intensity that she supports patients. She has an uncanny way of finding out about the struggles with which other members of the team are dealing. It is a common occurrence for Tina to drive staff members who have a health crisis of their own to appointments, to make food deliveries to their homes or even to coordinate a collection of money for someone who experiences a loss. By providing this support, Tina helps to strengthen the entire care team, thus facilitating better care for our patients.
It was a pleasure to have seen Tina caring for my father, and to now work alongside her. She is a valued employee of our team and one of the most compassionate nurses at The James Cancer Hospital.