Peak Performer: Nicole Slicker
education coordinator, Patient/Family Education Talent Management/Org & Prof Dev
Nicole was a Peak Performer recipient for the fourth quarter of 2022 (July-September). Below is her nomination letter.
Since transitioning to the educator role in Oncology, Nicole has done a fantastic job, particularly for our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) patients. She is knowledgeable, patient, and compassionate with the unique needs of our teenagers and young adults who may not always be in the mood to learn! Nicole goes above and beyond to make sure not only the patient but also their family feels comfortable with diagnostic and treatment information and also with line care.
In addition to her care for our AYAs, Nicole again exceeded expectations by meeting with two patients who came to Cook Children's for fertility preservation procedures in the operating room. Although they will never be seen in Oncology, she recognized the need for line education and made the families who were both new to Cook Children's feel very welcome and comfortable.
Nicole’s commitment to excellent patient care is her willingness to become a certified instructor for our End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) program. Health care team members throughout Cook Children’s requested training about palliative care. After earning instructor status, Nicole prepared content and began teaching at that conference twice per year. Although her primary role is patient and family education, she recognized a crucial need for staff education and committed to supporting the conference. Additionally, she collaborated with our palliative care physicians and shadowed them to learn more about this role in areas where she does not work (ex. NICU). The training has been very popular and has even included staff from community hospice providers.
Nicole’s job description states that her duties are patient and family education. With that in mind, she recognizes the importance of having qualified staff who care for Hematology/Oncology patients, and she is committed to fostering professional development. Nicole earned her Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) certification, then attended training to learn to become an instructor for the CPHON review course. Cook Children’s hosts this review course a few times each year and our educators have earned national recognition for the engaging format of the course and the pass rates. The reputation of our program remains stellar even with changes to a Zoom format as Nicole and the other H/O educator’s navigated challenges during pandemic precautions. Nicole teaches every time we offer the course and this often results in her working extra hours to continue with regular family education job duties. Last month, our review course had several participants from California and we’ve even had a participant from Canada!