MAYWOOD, Ill. — Cinthia La Porte, RN, BSN, works as the nurse manager of the Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center.
And when it comes to taking care of children, she isnt afraid to empower them.
La Porte recalled working with a young boy who had kidney transplant surgery and “never wanted to have any procedures done.”
Pain and anxiety had made the patient wary of treatments. One day while making rounds, La Porte decided to make the patient part of her team.
“I said, ‘You know what I need?” La Porte said. “I need a mini-boss.”
She created an identification badge with the new title and congratulated him on the role. “When Im gone, youre going to be in charge,” La Porte told the boy.
The results were impactful.
“After that day, it changed his life,” she said. “He came out of his shell. He felt powerful. To this day, he comes in (and) hes happy, hes singing. All that is is about building a relationship with him and coming down to his level. Thats what I love about kids.”
La Portes work with young patients was recognized May 9 at Loyola University Health Systems fifth annual Nursing Excellence Awards ceremony when she was presented with the 2012 Fanchon Knight Nurse of the Year Award. Knight, whose family was in attendance at the ceremony, was a Loyola nurse for more than 30 years who died of cancer in 2005.
“Wow,” La Porte said while accepting the award in Tobin Hall at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “Fanchon and I were friends. This is just a moment where theres so many memories … from 1977 on. “
Fourteen nurses were recognized with awards at the event, which also honored nurses who have received certification and advanced on the clinical ladder.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Paula Hindle, RN, MSN, MBA, Loyolas vice president of healthcare services/CNE . “It never ceases to amaze me what wonderful nurses we have.”
Barry Bottino is a regional editor.