Two registered nurses who care for older adults in divergent settings – in-home and a long-term nursing community – were recognized with their profession’s highest honor for their commitment to personalized, exemplary service.
Lillian Swan, RN, BSN-CDP, a transitional care nurse with Hartford HealthCare at Home and Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging, and Elise Krotky, RN, at Jefferson House in Newington, were among the honorees who received the 2019 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. The celebratory event was held May 9 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. A nurse can only be nominated once in his or her lifetime for this award which was established in 2001.
Swan, a Southington resident, has more than 25 years of clinical experience which includes cardiac critical care, cardiac rehab and diagnostic testing in addition to case management and home care. She is a certified dementia practitioner and is trained in Live Well and the Alzheimer’s Whisperer program. As a transitional care nurse, she makes two-hour home visits to assess overall health and abilities, physical and emotional well-being, safety, and the living situation. She then coordinates the complex care needed to reduce hospitalization and allow the person to safely remain at home. Her astute observation and action resulted in an older woman being successfully treated for several medical problems and receive regular personal hygiene services to realize a better quality of life, according to the nomination made by Wendy Martinson, MSN, RN, director of Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging.
Being a transitional care nurse has given her the opportunity to advocate for others – a calling she has felt her entire life, she said. “We try to look at the whole picture. What do they need?” Just as importantly she wants individuals and families to feel that they are being heard and that there are many people who care about them, she said.
Krotky, who made a career change to nursing in her early 30s, has made an impression on patients and staff alike at Jefferson House since she started working two years ago at the skilled nursing and inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation community. “Elise thinks critically, using her problem-solving skills and communicating effectively with patients, family members and the healthcare team. She is not afraid to have courageous conversations to advocate for each person and makes each patient feel like they are her primary focus,” according to the nomination by Robyn Beaulieu, RN, BSN, JD, director of nursing services at Jefferson House.
As people are living longer, it is vital to respond to the medical complexities and provide the interdisciplinary care resulting in the best outcome, said Krotky, an East Hampton resident. Being part of the aging process and particularly at the end of life is an honor, she noted.
“Hartford HealthCare Senior Services is truly proud of all our nurses, who consistently demonstrate their expertise and commitment to our residents and outpatients every day. We celebrate our Nightingale Award recipients who have made their careers their life missions as they deliver the highest quality care to achieve an optimum outcome,” said Sharon Robinson RN, BSN, MHA, regional director of Skilled Nursing Facilities Operations, Hartford HealthCare Senior Services.