“I love getting up knowing I can make difference each day. I am proud to be a nurse,” notes Adel Austin, a case manager at University Medical Center Brackenridge. And Austin truly walks the talk, evidenced by the many enduring stories of her unparalleled acts of leadership and compassion.
Last year, Austin and fellow nurse Tracy Robison of the UMCB Intensive Care Unit were among 12 nurses to receive the distinguished “Nurse of the Year” award. The honorees were selected from a pool of 182 nominees throughout the Seton community. Story after story about each of these women attests to the power of Humancare to inspire, nurture and comfort, showing us that we are at our best when we’re serving others with grace and integrity.
A Theme of Constant Kindness
Austin and Robison were not awarded this honor because they have one or two shining moments that stand out in their careers, but rather, because they each exemplify an ongoing commitment to kindness and excellence, which runs like a thread throughout their work.
The approach they take to their nursing vocation is inspiring to their colleagues and their patients alike. Austin’s peers celebrate her mentorship and efficiency as much as they do her caregiving skills. As a case manager, Austin is a role model for her fellow case managers and social workers. One particularly memorable story of Austin’s Humancare in action is when she went out of her way to help a patient get back on his proverbial feet.
Humancare in Action
A homeless man had been admitted to UMCB after being hit by a car. The man’s shopping cart was damaged in the accident, greatly distressing him, as he kept most of his belongings in the cart. Because the man chose to be discharged back to the streets rather than to a shelter, Austin understood how important it was for him to have a working cart. She contacted grocery stores to find one that would donate a shopping cart.
With a cart secured, Austin drove to the grocery store, loaded the cart into her truck and returned to Brackenridge to personally deliver it to the patient. She went far beyond what was expected to make sure that this man could return to his life as seamlessly as possible, and in the process, she helped to shine a humanizing light on the homeless.
A True Role Model
ICU nurse Tracy Robison has been recognized as a leader since her early days at UMCB. As a new mother, she began working as a clinical assistant while also attending school full time to become an RN. When her peers saw Robison advance in her studies to become an RN despite her many responsibilities, they were inspired and forged ahead with their own careers. Many credit Robison with leading by example, helping them to become accomplished, compassionate nurses.
Robison’s colleagues also credit her with having superb conflict resolution skills, as well as the ability to calm and soothe the nerves of the most addled patients. Whether mentoring local girl scout troops or working alongside fellow team members in the ICU, Robison takes the time to offer support and guidance. Ensuring that everyone has the tools they need to deliver the utmost care and compassion is one way that Robison helps to promote a mission of Humancare.
“Being a nurse in ICU has taught me that my problems are small. I am grateful for everyday that I am given with my family and friends. Life is a gift. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t hold grudges. Say ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’ often,” Robison notes.