Tele/MedSurg Nurse Kelly Grink, RN, simply loves her job.
Grink — recently named SMC’s Blue Violet Award for Nursing Excellence winner — said she is grateful for being recognized by her supervisor, Donald Trauger, MSN, RN.
“Getting this recognition from my supervisor who nominated me is amazing,” she said. “But I just treat all of my patients as if they were family. The best part of my day is making my patients smile.”
In his nomination, Trauger referred to Grink as a well-rounded nurse who is supportive, open-minded and can “get the job done.”
“I’m so proud that Kelly received the Blue Violet Award,” said ICU and Tele/MedSurg Director Kirsten Maritim, MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC. “Kelly exemplifies going above and beyond each day in the care of her patients. She does a tremendous job of ensuring the family and the team are all on the same page with the patient plan of care. Kelly’s care and compassion for both patients and families makes them feel at ease in both the hospital and through their transition to discharge.”
At 19, Grink was studying criminal justice and wanted to become a police officer. She was working as a waitress when one of her regulars said she would make a great nurse.
“I never really thought of becoming a nurse, but when my customer mentioned it, I thought back to when my grandmother was bedridden,” she said.
When Grink was 12, she watched a homecare nurse tend to her grandmother who suffered a stroke and developed Parkinson’s Disease. Instead of moving her to a nursing home, Grink’s grandfather hired a full-time nurse.
“For her nurse to be able to provide care right in her living room was amazing,” she said.
So, she took the customer’s advice and has now been a nurse for 15 years.
“The most rewarding part is seeing my patients smile,” she said. “I understand they may be upset or angry, but I don’t take it personally. I try to figure out a way to make them peaceful while they are in my care.”
Grink said nurses must love their job to be successful.
“If I could give advice to a new nurse, it’s to ride the wave,” she said. “It will never be easy, it will always be challenging, but you have to love what you do.”
Fourteen nominations were entered. Those were narrowed down to the top five, and Grink was named the winner. Rounding out the top five were Jennifer Kelly, Daniela Booker, Ruth Ann Fedora, and Suzanne Strang.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the next Blue Violet Award. Find nomination forms throughout the hospital or go to smc.health and click on Staff Recognition.