Mary Lou Moore, RN, MSN, CCRN
In monthly planning sessions with her nurses-in-charge, Mary Lou Moore, RN, MSN, CCRN, nurse manager on 12 ABCD, always discusses the needs of her staff. When a few months ago several nurses on the floor were struggling with how to comfort a family who had lost a loved one, Moore and her leadership team knew they needed to help support the staff.
“I try to be responsive to the input of my nurses-in-charge, because they reflect and communicate to me the challenges and needs that the staff exhibit,” said Moore. “I told my nurses-in-charge that we would find a way to address this need that had been identified by them.”
Moore did her investigative work, and in collaboration with the Ethics and Chaplaincy Services, created a program for the 12th floor called “Compassionate Care Rounds.” The program provides a forum for nurses to share and discuss the process of supporting both patients and families through emotionally challenging experiences often involving the end of life. This process has also afforded the staff the opportunity to assist each other and acknowledge the team’s compassion and caring.
“At the center of this program is a circle of support that links the needs of both our nurses and our patients,” said Moore. “When our nurses, many of whom either experientially or chronologically have not had exposure to loss, can better understand where they fit in the process of caring for those experiencing loss, they can provide the best patient and family care. The compassionate care rounds are helping us to define the most effective means of caring for the patient and family, and ultimately, each other.”
Moore’s focus and direction always bring her back to the patient. She is one that thinks of others before herself. And, it was in this selfless spirit that she was nominated by her staff and named the 2002 Dennis Thomson Leadership Awardee.
Each year the Dennis Thomson Leadership Award, named in honor of the late vice president of Public Affairs, is presented to a member of the hospital who embodies the essential components of leadership – character, competency, composure, courage and care for people – that were hallmarks of Thomson’s personality. As part of the award, Moore will receive up to $1,000 to attend a leadership building program of her choice.
Moore has been a nurse manager at BWH for four years. In this relatively short span of time she has constructed an extremely open and supportive environment for all her staff. She has created not only a culture of compassionate care, but a team of leaders.
“Each of my nurses, unit coordinators, patient care assistants and every member of our care team is a leader,” said Moore. “In my eyes, a leader is one who constantly maintains a vision of others. We begin with the patient’s needs, and this clarifies our course of action and directs our work.”
Dedicated to constant self-improvement, Moore never loses sight of her true goals as a leader on the floor - the growth, development and advancement of her colleagues. “I am surrounded by an amazing group of leaders, each who are equally qualified and deserving of this award,” Moore said. “Being selected by and among my peers is the ultimate compliment.”