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DCMH's Rustebakke wins Nightingale award

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Carol Rustebakke

Carol Rustebakke, RN, from Delta County Memorial Hospital was the winner of the Nightingale Luminary Award for western Colorado in an awards banquet March 5 in Grand Junction, according to Jody Roeber, DCMH chief clinical officer. Rustebakke is a dedicated registered nurse of 43 years.

She won this award for "Innovation in Clinical Practice." As a critical care nurse, Rustebakke observed a need for improved prevention and education regarding wound care and prevention. She became wound care-certified and worked endlessly to establish a vibrant and effective wound and ostomy program at DCMH starting in 2008. Her 43 years of professional nursing experience provided her the knowledge and expertise to educate nurses and physicians about the importance of identifying and caring for vulnerable patients. She developed additional policies and procedures, including specialty wound care products. Because of her dedication and expertise, the number of skin care complications due to pressure ulcers have reduced significantly in the past seven years.

"Now education and follow-up is available for many patients close to home, whose ostomy and wound care would have been referred to health care facilities a distance away from Delta County prior to 2008," commented Roeber.

Rustebakke will be honored at the state Nightingale event with five other western Colorado nurses on May 7 in Denver. Other DCMH RN nominees included Rhonda Gavin, RN, a medical-surgical nurse, Felicia Grant, RN and Donna Ragland, RN, both charge nurses on the medical-surgical unit, Connie Pieper, RN and Linda Speedie, RN, intensive care unit nurses. It's been 20 years since a Nightingale nominee from Delta County Memorial Hospital went on to the state event.

Delta County Memorial Hospital is very proud of its 2015 nominees and thanks them for their dedication to the profession and the extra mile they go to provide care and excellence to their patients and their community, commented Roeber.

The Western Colorado Nightingale Event celebrated its 31st year of recognizing and celebrating nurses on the Western Slope. The event honors nurses who best exemplify the philosophy and nursing practice of Florence Nightingale, a 19th century nursing pioneer. Nurses from across the state are recognized and nominated by their peers, supervisors, family and patients. For the past several years the state Nightingale committee has expanded the categories into two main categories: 1) clinical practice which recognizes those nurses who provide direct patient care; and 2) administrative/education and alternative nursing, which recognizes nurses who impact other nurses, patients and the community.

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