Nurse of Distinction Nominee- Erin Henry, RN


As part of Milford Regional’s Nurses Week celebration every year, a Nurse of Distinction is selected that demonstrates Milford Regional’s values in his/her professional practice by providing exceptional care. This year, nominees for this prestigious honor were chosen by their peers in each unit within the hospital.

We would like to recognize all of the nurses that were nominated for the Nurse of Distinction Award.

See below for Erin Henry’s nomination.

nominee_erinhenryI nominate Erin Henry for the 2017 Nurse of Distinction Award.  Erin makes a difference everyday with her patients and I learn continually by the example she sets as a nurse.   I used to work on the same shift as Erin, but now I receive report from her and I see the improvements and positive impact she makes with her patients every day.

Even on the busiest days, Erin focuses on the most important issues for our patients.   Working on a Med/Surg unit, pain is a big issue.  It’s difficult to balance treating pain and weaning patients off of narcotics especially intravenous narcotics.  I remember one week when I worked with two patients that Erin handed off to me, and both patients decided they did not want to take intravenous narcotics and instead they wanted oral medications.  The patients were still able to participate in physical therapy and they got out of bed to the chair.   This was a big change from the day before when I had the patients.  When I asked them about their pain, they both said the same thing.  They said “the last nurse, Erin” talked to them “for a while” about their regular medications and their pain medications.  It was easy to see why these patients were improving so much; Erin empowered them by helping them better understand their regular medications and the side effects of narcotics and the patients decided on their own to reduce using narcotics as the only means for controlling pain.  I see this often with Erin’s patients.

Erin was a charge nurse on nights for years so she understands how demanding and crazy it is on the floor especially at change of shift.    I was the charge nurse one afternoon and I received report on all my patients. One of the patients Erin handed off to me was in recovery. 

The recovery room called and said they got an order for medication that the patient’s nurse needed to bring to recovery and administer.   My heart sunk.  Erin was about to leave for the day but she heard what was going on, she clarified the details, and she asked me to witness her taking the controlled substance then she left for recovery.  Instead of just administering the medication and leaving, she stayed with the patient until she was assured that the patient was stable and would not require further interventions from her.  One hour later she returned to the floor and updated me on the patient.  She was calm as always and I thanked her profusely for helping me out.  She knew I needed her help without having to ask me.  Erin understood the demands on the floor and the best way to handle the situation and she did what needed to be done.

Sometimes a simple idea goes a long way.  Erin trained me when I started working nights over a year ago, and I was new to many IV medications.  I had a patient that needed Zosyn which runs over four hours and the patient was also receiving normal saline.  Erin taught me to watch out for Zosyn because it runs over four hours and if the patient needs intravenous fluids (IVF) for hydration, instead of stopping the IVF and having the patient go without it for four hours, IV therapy could be called and a new peripheral line could be established.  Or, she said, you can run the IVF with the Zosyn at the same time if they are compatible.  This would save the patient the pain and stress of having another peripheral line established.  This is a great tip that I never forgot and I have taught it to other nurses.

Erin Henry is an honest and compassionate nurse, she advocates for her patients, and she consistently applies evidence based practice in her job.  Working with her is a continuous learning experience for me and I aspire to be a nurse just like her.   This is why I am nominating Erin for the 2017 Nurse of Distinction Award.         

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