Intermountain Healthcare

Nurses' Appreciation Week Celebrates Compassion and Quality Care


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/09/2021 --Although physicians are vital and generally extremely qualified, anyone who has ever spent time in the hospital knows that it is often the nursing staff that handles the majority of the heavy lifting — both literally and figuratively.

Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital Nurse Administrator Natalie Ashby says she values the strong collaboration between physicians and nurses, but she is particularly honored to represent the nurses and all they contribute to the Intermountain Healthcare system.

"Nurses aren't just there to give you a bed bath," Ashby said. "They do that, but their primary role is to keep our patients safe."

For example, Ashby said one nurse in the emergency department noticed on the patient's EKG that there was a different ST elevation in the heart rhythm that hadn't been noticed by the referring hospital. It was the nurse who notified the Emergency Department physician and put things in place to have the patient ready for a procedure to help with the heart.

"It's just a great example of how smart nurses are," Ashby said. "They pick up on things that help our patients have better outcomes."

Often nurses are the ones who find ways to go above and beyond when it comes to patient care.

"We have one nurse in our medical oncology unit who, when patients are done with chemo, decorates their hospital room to celebrate them leaving," Ashby said. "It's something the patients look forward to and appreciate."

Similarly, nurses in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit participate in what they call "Graduation Walk" as babies graduate from the NICU. The nurses line the hallway to congratulate and hug the parents as they are finally able to take their baby home, Ashby said.

And when patients reach the end of life, there are nurses on hand to help with those painful outcomes.

"In our ICU there is a tender story about a husband who was not going to make it," Ashby said. "The nurse was able to make arrangements to grant the wife's wish to lay beside her husband one last time. It was a remarkable way for the nurse's to show their compassion."

All those acts of humanity and compassion are on top of the rigorous mental and physical demands placed on the nursing staff.

"It doesn't matter if it's something clinical that the nurses do, or something compassionate, our nurses always go above and beyond," Ashby said.

Ashby said that for her, bedside nursing was the most rewarding field. She loved her time as a bedside nurse in neuro-rehab caring for strokes and spinal cord issues. Now she is grateful for the chance to work in nursing leadership. It just shows that there are so many career opportunities for those who feel drawn toward the nursing profession.

Everything from ICU to Life Flight, management and administration, legal witnesses and expert consultants, nurse practitioners, end of life care and more.

"You don't just get stuck in one vein," Ashby said. "There is such a variety of things you can do, which I think is unique to our profession."

This week Intermountain Hospitals throughout the state join in honoring nurses for their unique and important contributions. Celebrations at St. George Regional Hospital include intentional rounding on nursing floors to express gratitude and offer a treat, along with peer nominations for the Nursing Excellence awards.

"It's really an inspiring profession," Ashby said.

About St. George Regional Hospital
St. George Regional Hospital is part of Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit system of 25 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.