Kindness and Healing Play a Strong Role to Patients and Their Care Team

Published on: 
Extraordinary Healer®, Extraordinary Healer® Vol. 15, Volume 15,

A fellow nurse describes how her colleague is a healing presence to not only her patients but also the clinical team.

Bethany Larkin, M.S.H.A., RN-BC, OCN, CT, assistant patient services manager for women's oncology services at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven in Connecticut, understands the art of healing. She has mastered the science of healing as an expert oncology nurse who keeps our patients safe and is a role model for all staff. But more importantly, she exemplifies the art of healing as she brings her compassion, devotion and caring to all of those around her. Before 10:00 a.m., I have personally witnessed Bethany console a teammate who has recently lost a family member around the holidays, shepherd a lost patient in the hallway, identify a critical element in a chemotherapy care plan that required tweaking for patient safety, take time to listen to an older adult patient who had to alter her holiday plans due to COVID-19, triage a very sick patient's concern, post a requisition to recruit a new nurse and run a nursing leadership meeting. She does so effortlessly with high emotional intelligence and with heart, soul and kindness.

Recently, an oncology patient became unresponsive in the chemotherapy infusion suite. Bethany was a calm and healing presence to the patient and to the team as she participated in the nursing assessment, spoke gently to the patient and to the staff, and displayed her comprehensive knowledge of the interaction of pain medications. She was calm and soothing to all. The patient did recover, and Bethany's kind manner and healing approach played a strong role for the patient and the team.

On a global level, during the upswing of COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, Bethany assisted with the move of three women's oncology units (breast clinic, GYN-ONC clinic and infusion) from the New Haven main campus to the Guilford satellite campus to provide seamless, uninterrupted care. As Bethany did her rounds, she had the unique ability to listen and care for each patient as if they were the only patient in the world.

It is an honor to nominate Bethany for this award.

Editor’s Note: This is an essay submitted by Camille Servodidio, RN, for the 2021 Extraordinary Healer Award. Click here to read more about CURE®’s Extraordinary Healer® Award for Oncology Nursing event on April 30, 2021.

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