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Summit County nurses stay committed to compassion and care

Nurses at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center recognized during National Nurses Week

Health care workers at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco pose for a photo Wednesday, May 6, on National Nurses Day.
Liz Copan / ecopan@summitdaily.com

FRISCO — For Amber Kilby, a good nurse has “compassion, empathy and drive.”

Kilby, an inpatient nurse at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, was one of five nurses named Nurse of the Year on Wednesday, May 6, as part of the hospital’s celebration of National Nurses Week.

“A well of emotions filled up inside of me,” she said. “I felt so honored to be recognized and considered by my peers for such an esteemed award. I cried.”

The national appreciation week kicked off with National Nurses Day on Wednesday, May 6, and ends Tuesday, May 12. The weeklong celebration honors and recognizes nurses for their hard work throughout the year.

While the appreciation week happens every year, this year was different, with nurses, doctors and other health care providers working to help communities battle the novel coronavirus.

In Summit County, a total of 42 people have been hospitalized with the virus since early March, 182 people have tested positive and the county has seen two deaths in connection with COVID-19.

Nurses have had to adjust to work in a pandemic, donning more personal protective equipment than they ever have and putting their own health at risk to serve those with the highly contagious virus.

Tim Putz, an emergency department nurse at the hospital, said his job hasn’t changed all that much because the primary goal remains giving every patient the attention they deserve.

At A Glance

St. Anthony Summit Medical Center Nurse of the Year award winners:

  • Aaron Parmet, infection prevention manager
  • Tim Putz, emergency department
  • Amber Kilby, peak care unit
  • Jeanine Resseguie, post-anesthesia care unit
  • Cathy Lease, labor and delivery

“At the core of what we do is still the same,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re seeing a patient for a laceration or a patient who is possibly COVID positive, you’re still going to revert back to basics and treat that person the same.”

Putz was another one of the nurses to receive the Nurse of the Year award. He has been at the hospital since 2005, he said.

“The most rewarding part of my job most of the time is when people come to the emergency department, and they’re having a really bad day,” he said. “Hopefully, I can provide them with comfort and care and send them away with a smile on their face.”

Kilby agreed with Putz that the onset of COVID-19 hasn’t affected her outlook on her job too much.

“Every day I go to work, I just focus on doing what I’ve always done … just taking care of the patients the best way we can and the best way I know how to,” she said.

Dori Welch, an inpatient nurse at the hospital, said a good nurse is “well-rounded and has to have somewhat of an open mind.”

“You have to be ready to learn all the time,” she said. “Having an open mind makes it more successful working with your patients and your peers.”

Welch said that while work is different because of COVID-19, her job is as important as ever.

“It has woken me up to a little bit in the global pandemic to what health care as a whole really means to the population of the planet,” she said. “It’s really brought forth my perception of what compassion can look like across the board and not just in health care.”

Welch said the “human connection” is the most rewarding part of her job.

“You’re definitely meeting people that are coming in on the worst day of their life,” she said. “Sometimes your co-workers and yourself are having a really awful time, as well. So you have to really dig deep and all work together for some sort of solution.”

Summit County nurses have received recognition and praise for their work outside of National Nurses Week. This year, the 150 nurses at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center have been awarded the Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The hospital’s emergency department also has received the Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence award for patient experience and an A rating from the Leapfrog Group.

“I wish patients knew how much the health care workers actually care for their well-being,” Welch said. “That is definitely the ultimate goal with every nurse and health care person I’ve worked with.”


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