Peak Performer: Katherine Roden, RN
RN, Emergency Department
Katherine was a Peak Performer recipient for the second quarter of 2022 (January-March). Below is her nomination letter.
Kathy is an Emergency Room nurse, but in spite of the chaos, she takes the time to make the patient feel heard and not rushed. She does not read things off a list, but goes to the patient bedside, leans on the rail, making the patient feel very cared for, and asks each question in a manner that makes the patient feel comfortable talking with her about what is going on. On one occasion I heard her ask a young girl if she ever felt the world would be better off without her (instead of asking if she was suicidal) and to the mother's surprise, the young girl said yes. I doubt she would have admitted to it had she read through the list like it was a grocery list.
Kathy is a member of many committees throughout the hospital and those based in ED. She is a member of PEC, both hospital-wise and in the unit, Magnet, hospital and unit again, and the ED Family Advisory Unit. Not only this, but she checks up on fellow employees who are going through "things" in their lives and is always willing to offer help or prayers for us. She personifies a Peak Performer in everything she does. CCMC and the ED are better because of her.
As a member of our ED Team HOPE, Kathy acts as a resource to our behavioral health patients and our staff caring for them. She has a gift for quickly connecting with patients, and establishing rapport with them. She has been instrumental in our continued education and use of the Ask Suicide Questions screening tool in the ED. I wholeheartedly believe that she has helped save countless lives, by taking the time to look up and ask these difficult questions. She is mindful of the communication styles of different ages and will sometimes print the suicide screening tool out for adolescents who are more comfortable with reading the questions and circling answers, rather than speaking about them openly first.
Kathy models the importance of listening to understand someone, instead of just listening to respond. She instills hope in others and believes in the importance of providing an environment that supports felt safety when something less than desirable emerges. I have seen her connect with a young patient who was combative and speaking to no one, and unwilling to cooperate with any requests. After a few times in the room, Kathy was able to have him play games with her, interact verbally and agree to “be on our team,” instead of against us, and cooperate with his care. Kathy has always been a Peak Performer and continues to humbly serve others inside and outside of Cook Children’s walls.