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‘A nurse in the true sense of the word’

As a pediatric ICU nurse, Diane Quinlan strived to be the best nurse for her patients: a nurse other nurses admired.

After failing health switched her role from healthcare provider to patient, she met nurse practitioner Michele Naugle, MSN, RN, CRNP, ACHPN, who provides home-based care and support as part of Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Health Network’s palliative medicine service.

“With Michele, they could not have sent me a better person. As a nurse, I am critical of other nurses. She is a nurse in the true sense of the word,” said Quinlan, 63, who has been treated by Lehigh’s palliative medicine service known as OACIS (optimizing advanced complex illness support) since 2009.

“She is very knowledgeable and if there is something she doesn’t know she either finds the answer right then or she calls me back,” said Quinlan, BSN, RN, who formerly worked as a nurse for nearly 20 years at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and now has advanced breast cancer, arthritis and a chronic lung condition. Naugle, who works as part of a care team, “is a very professional, knowledgeable and compassionate nurse,” Quinlan said.

Quinlan’s testimony of Naugle’s excellent nursing care was independently validated earlier this year when OACIS was awarded a 2014 Circle of Life Award by the American Hospital Association to recognize innovation in palliative and end-of-life care. More than 100 programs from the U.S. competed for one of the highest honors in a growing discipline.

Naugle, who sees Quinlan every six to eight weeks, said she is inspired by Quinlan’s optimism and giving spirit. “She has a very positive attitude despite a pretty heavy symptom burden in that her breathing condition affects her stamina, she tires easy and she has a lot of pain for her to manage.”

Naugle said she is impressed by Quinlan’s willingness to help others and work on many hobbies, which include making popular handmade greeting cards.

“Diane is a very creative, outgoing person,” Naugle said. “She loves to feel useful and needed. She is very easy to talk to. She was probably an excellent nurse.”

The demand for Quinlan’s cards, which she started making 30 years ago, took off after Naugle took some back to the OACIS office.

Making the cards gives Quinlan something to look forward to when she feels well enough. “For me, the only way I can cope with this is to keep busy.”

Robin Farmer is a freelance writer.

By | 2014-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 November 8th, 2014|Categories: Philadelphia/Tri-State, Regional|0 Comments

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