Cindy Engel, BSN, RN
Nominated by Denise Barry, RN, of the Pre-op Holding Unit, with letters of support from Jeanne Lanchester, MEd, RN, nursing director of PeriAnesthesia Services; Ellen Sullivan, BSN, RN, CPAN, nurse in-charge, PACU; and a patient of Engel's.
Cindy Engel's IV placement skills are unrivaled. Physicians and nurses alike often rely on her when IV access is difficult. She is there to soothe an anxious patient, expertly find a vein and help the patient relax as she smiles and makes conversation.
"Placing an IV may seem like a technical skill that can be taught and learned, but it can prove quite challenging when patients are already extremely anxious," said Jeanne Lanchester, MEd, RN, nursing director of Perioperative Services. "On more than one occasion, an anesthesia resident or an attending anesthesiologist has gone out of their way to share a ‘Cindy story' with me."
Those stories all focus on how well Engel handled the situation - providing a kind, reassuring word to the patient and a subtle tip to the resident, said Lanchester.
As the resource nurse for the Pre-op Care Unit, Engel does much more than place IVs. She's known as a leader, role model and coach. Recently, Engel demonstrated all of these skills when a water pipe burst on one of the floors and patients had to be evacuated. Twenty of those patients were sent to the Pre-op Care Unit, and, because the hospital was at greater than 100 percent occupancy, 20 more patients had already stayed overnight in Pre-op. 152 patients were on the OR schedule that day, and many staff thought surgeries would have to be canceled due to the extreme situation.
"Cindy said that was not the plan, and she led us by example all day," said Denise Barry, RN, of the Pre-op Care Unit. "She managed the flow of patients like an air traffic controller, responded to the changing demands of the system and was available to support all staff and patients that day. Not one surgery had been canceled or significantly delayed. We were so grateful she was there that day."
Engel earned her BSN from Emmanuel College in 2011 and her diploma from the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing. She has worked on several units at BWH, including as a staff nurse on hematology/oncology and on medical surgical units and as a charge nurse and preceptor in IV Therapy.