Hospital’s aim at excellence adds Dignity to future careers in nursing

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following a recent conversation with the senior nurse director at Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center, we felt a report on our discussion would provide a way to help recognize the significance of the current, monthlong observance of National Nurses Month. Her thoughts and comments follow.

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While nursing has been integral to this country’s leadership in healthcare, Tricia Coryea-Hafkey offers insight into how and why Chandler Regional Medical Center has worked notably to achieve one of the state’s, and the nation’s, signature environments for excellence of care. 

Coryea-Hafkey, who has overseen the work of as many as 1,500 of the hospital’s nursing staff at a time for more than a decade, attributes CRMC’s success to a commitment that focuses on quality—a goal she says involves a multitude of efforts that, among many others, focus on “making sure that patients feel they receive everything they need” while involved in a hospital stay. While incoming nurses are carefully evaluated for their potential fit to the hospital’s philosophy of care, said Coryea-Hafkey, their ongoing performance also gets regular checkups, including twice-yearly give-and-take discussions that involve not only a view of their own satisfaction with the job but an “onboarding” evaluation by the management team. 

Because of its longtime faith-based focus, among other attributes, the hospital emphasizes equality of care for all, according to Coryea-Hafkey—“no matter who they are, where they’re from, how much money they have.” 

It is, thus, a widely utilized assemblage of data, from social media and personal observation to simple word of mouth, that provides hospital management with an array of information by which to monitor the effectiveness of efforts to maintain quality of care. In addition to an ongoing emphasis on the nursing staff’s performance in the area of patient care, new technology also has played an important role in that same pursuit, according to CoryeaHafkey. 

The arrival of some exciting new modalities, made possible in part by a generous donation from the Gila River Indian Community, has added even further to CRMC’s continuing march into the future of healthcare. As to the continuing measure of her own work gratification—in a field sometimes previously thought of as a “burnout” profession—CoryeaHafkey views it as the career of a lifetime. Finally, we asked, would she recommend nursing as a pursuit for young people undecided about what direction they want to follow in the future?

 “Heck, yeah,” she says, smilingly. “In a job where you can help others—that’s what I call true job satisfaction.

Don Kirkland
Don Kirkland
Don Kirkland realized in elementary school that his future would revolve around the written word. His first newspaper job was with a small L.A.-area daily whose publisher demanded the kind of journalistic integrity that ultimately led him to be the admired press director for both a governor and a U.S. President. Don later was employed by Times-Mirror Corp. and, in Arizona, was executive editor of the Mesa Tribune after its purchase by a major East Coast chain. He founded Wrangler News 30 years ago and has dedicated his work to preserving the vital role of community newspapers.



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