The ones who care Local nurses recognized with awards

HEATHER NOWLIN, left, and Jamie Gleason were nominated for their work at the regional Nightingale awards last month. The banquet honors nurses who have done exemplary work in the last year. Enlargephoto

COURTESY PHOTO

HEATHER NOWLIN, left, and Jamie Gleason were nominated for their work at the regional Nightingale awards last month. The banquet honors nurses who have done exemplary work in the last year.

Two local nurses were recognized for their achievements at the third annual Regional Nightingale/Luminary Awards Banquet on March 22.

The banquet was held in Durango, at the Double Tree Hotel, and included nurses from Mercy Regional Medical Center, Southwest Memorial Hospital and private practice offices. Nominees were chosen by their supervisors or other hospital management. The winners from each category will travel to the state awards in Westminster on May 11.

Jamie Gleason, RN, has been a nurse for 19 years. She previously worked for four years at SWMH, left to take several positions at nursing homes in Cortez and Mancos, and is now back in her second stint with the hospital. She works in the intensive care unit and was nominated for the clinical practice-advocacy category.

Gleason describes her philosophy toward nursing as being a translator.

"You need to listen to the patient, be their advocate," she said. "Doctors can sometimes talk above their heads. You try to explain what is going on in layman's terms instead of medical (jargon). Instead of saying 'you have a pulmonary embolism,' tell them they have a blood clot in their lung. Get on their level. Answer their questions."

The other nominee was Heather Nowlin, RN MSN CNOR, who is director of surgical services. She was nominated for the clinical practice-leadership category. Wilson has been a nurse since 1995, the whole time in Southwest Colorado. She has spent 12 years in the SWMH operating room, but also has worked at a family practice/internal medicine office, done dialysis for people with faulty kidneys and been involved with diabetes education.

Neither Gleason or Nowlin advanced to the state awards, but said they were honored to be considered.