BRISTOL - Laughter filled the Chippanee Country Club last night during the “Stars of the Night” event held by Bristol Hospital to recognize the nursing staff as the driving force behind many of the its accomplishments.
The event was organized to reflect on all the nurses’ hard work, explained Nancy Lamonica, director of clinical excellence at Bristol Hospital.
“We want to recognize our nurses that never stop caring for our patients. The goal was to take time and reflect on all the work our nursing staff does,” said Lamonica. “If we can provide self care to our nurses, then they can deliver that to our patients.”
Lamonica explained that when the nurses were asked what they wanted for the event, they simply responded that they wanted to laugh.
“The event developed from there,” said Lamonica. “The whole event is for them.”
One of the nurses present was Jill Lombardi, who was also a Nightingale recipient, explained the event was the perfect addition to National Nurses’ Week.
“It’s a very special event and week, because we are all so proud of and surrounded by all of our peers. It’s also nice to get away from the hospital and get dressed up,” said Lombardi. “We also had the chance to nominate our peers for awards that will be given out.”
Patricia Coppola, director of perioperative services at the hospital, explained that the event is held during nurses’ week to convey the idea of self care.
“We need to take care of our nurses, so they can better care for our community,” said Coppola. “And their culture is so amazing for its enthusiasm for the profession.”
President of the medical staff at Bristol Hospital, Bala Shanmugam, explained that nurses are the driving force behind the hospital and patient care.
“The nursing staff makes up the true essence of the hospital and set the tone and culture. Our staff, compared to five years ago, has grown and is very patient focused,” said Shanmugam. “This event is a great idea during nurses’ week and I hope there are more to come.”
Chris Ann Meaney, vice president of patient care services, explained that the nurses who were nominated were unaware prior to walking in the door and seeing their names in the program.
“The nominees had no idea before coming here,” said Meaney. “So people are really feeling loved and valued, which was the plan. We wanted to celebrate and recognize our nursing staff tonight.”
The rising star award was given to Shannon Aries, the inter-professional collaboration award to Daniel Lachance and the new knowledge and innovation award was given to Lynn Gaski.
Darlene Bourgoin was awarded preceptor of the year and Paula Steele was given the excellence in caring award.
Out of the roughly 295 nurses in 20 departments of the hospital’s system that are BSN prepared, certified and commonly work with local organizations and the community to provide patient satisfaction, about 150 were present and celebrated.
The event was sponsored by David DiNeno, Infinity Home Care Services and the Hospital Heroes Team for the Charity Cycling Challenge.
Meaney said the hospital plans to hold the event every year in order to create a positive work environment, which involves meaningful recognition.