Nurses: the backbone of the health care industry
Consistently ranked the most trusted professionals in the U.S., nurses serve on the front lines of health care. Today, there are about three million nurses working in the U.S., and more than 29 million around the globe: Every day, they dedicate their work to improving patient outcomes, providing compassionate care and offering significant emotional support to patients and their families.
This National Nurses Week, May 6 through May 12, we celebrate nurses everywhere, with a spotlight on those offering their skills and expertise to our customers and their patients as Cardinal Health employees. Though these nurses do not provide bedside care, their knowledge and their passion for their profession help improve the lives of people every day. Read on to learn more about their important work.
Supporting patients with cancer and other serious diseases
Through Sonexus Access and Patient Support, Cardinal Health partners with biopharmaceutical companies to support patients who’ve been prescribed medications to treat cancers and other serious diseases. Nurses on the Sonexus team provide these patients with expertise, clinical care, and insights into reimbursement support and financial assistance to help them throughout their treatment.
Lisa Olson, RN, BSN, of Denton, Texas, and Erika Jeffries, RN, BACJ, BSN, in Lewisville, Texas, both serve patients who’ve been prescribed LENVIMA, a prescription medication manufactured by Eisai and used to treat certain kinds of cancer. “I have been a registered nurse for 16 years, primarily in acute care settings,” Olson said. “When I transitioned from my career in bedside nursing to medication adherence nursing, little did I realize the amazing impact I would have on patients’ lives with a simple phone call. The ability to connect with patients in such a meaningful way motivates me every day, and fuels my passion for caring for others through some of their worst moments and some of their most joyous times.”
Jeffries agreed, adding, “I enjoy going to work each day to connect and build rapport with the patients I reach out to. Some of the patients don’t have any other support system – and LENVIMA is typically their last therapy, after chemotherapy and radiation. My work in providing care to these patients over the phone is really valuable to them, and it is truly rewarding to me.”
Supporting clinical research
JaLyna Laney, RN, in Atlanta, Georgia, and Courtney Omary, DNP, MSN, RN-BC, in Augusta, Georgia, are part of Cardinal Health’s Clinical Specialty team, where they provide guidance and insights to researchers who conduct real-world studies. Laney provides her clinical expertise in reviews of case report forms (CRFs), which are sets of documents used to collect and retain all the important data from real-world studies. She also promotes real-world studies to physicians, to engage them in participating in our research. Omary’s job is to improve the team’s quality control process, and to complete data quality control for real-world evidence studies. “The real-world clinical data we collect from patients every day enables us to improve patient care and outcomes,” Omary said. “The work I do helps ensure the integrity of that data.”
Laney said, “This work is very different from the patient care I provided in the past as a manager of an infusion lab. However, my goal as a nurse is the same as it has always been: To give patients the care and information they need to improve their overall health. Whether I am providing hands-on care at the bedside, or gathering data and analytics from clinical research, my focus is always on the patient.”
Ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical products
Our Medical Safety Team provides medical and clinical expertise and training for all the medical products Cardinal Health offers. In short, they help ensure that medical products are safe and effective for patients, caregivers and clinical staff. They serve as subject matter experts, partnering with our Quality, Design Quality, Post Market Surveillance, Marketing, and Research and Development teams to provide input related to patient safety and evidence-based clinical practice standards.
Here, nurses on the team share the impact of their work – and what it means to them:
- Sandra Sykes, RN, MSN, MPM, CPHQ, in Durham, North Carolina, leads the team. “I have the opportunity of working with this amazing team every day,” she said. “Each of these nurses is completely dedicated to patient safety – and to ensuring the safety and efficacy of our products. We all care deeply that Cardinal Health is viewed as a trusted health care partner.”
- “Although I felt tremendous satisfaction providing direct care for patients and their families for nearly 10 years, once I joined the quality and safety world, I realized that I could touch many more lives – including those of my fellow clinicians – working in this capacity,” said Janice Schwartz, RN, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Added Rhia Tee, RN, MSN, CPHQ, in the Township of Washington, New Jersey, “I’m passionate about keeping patients safe; coming to work every day allows me to do so on a global scale.”
- “Patient and user safety, advocacy, and evidence-based practice are of utmost importance to me,” said Kayndise Lee, RN, MSN, CCM, in Atlanta, Georgia. “When I joined this Cardinal health team, I began using my skills and experience in new ways: I love being a change agent and positively impacting the health care industry to ensure optimal outcomes for my community and beyond.”
- Added Robin Pendry, RN, BSN, in Glade Hill, Virginia, “I love going to work every day because I feel that I am making a difference in the lives of patients, by ensuring that Cardinal Health delivers medical products that are safe and effective.”
Training customers and internal teams
Many of our nurses focus on education – from helping our salespeople understand the importance and efficacy of products to teaching health care providers to use the products safely. Many contribute to developing continuing education programs for other clinicians.
Rosemary Sergakis, RN, DNP, NE-BC, in New Albany, Ohio, is a global clinical education specialist on the Cardinal Health Medical Affairs team. Her job is to provide clinical expertise for the education we provide to our internal and external customers. “I love supporting our sales and marketing teams with evidence-based education that supports excellent patient care and appropriate use of our products – that education enables them to interact more effectively with health care providers. Any day that I can help someone learn why something is being done or how to improve what they are doing clinically is a great day for me.”
Added Sandra Stewart, RN, BScN, “I get to be a part of a wonderful team whose goal is aligned with mine: To help our customers provide the very best care to their patients.” Stewart is a senior nurse consultant for acute surgical products, supporting health care customers across Canada with clinical expertise training and ongoing customer support.
Tina Keller, RN, BSN, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, supports the Acute Medical Sales team with her expertise. “I love providing education about clinical best practices with health care personnel in hospitals across the country: That translates to health care providers offering the best clinical care for their patients.”
Supporting pharmacists with clinical expertise
Colyn McEldowney, RN, BSN, CEN, CCRN, in Columbus, Ohio, worked as an emergency room nurse until late in 2021, when he joined the Cardinal Health team. Today, he uses his nursing expertise in his work selling generic medicines to independent pharmacists across the U.S.
“I’m motivated by much the same things that motivated me in the emergency department,” he said. “I worked hard to gain and maintain the trust of emergency physicians; today I work hard to gain the trust of pharmacists. Because I worked with many pharmacists when I was a hospital nurse, I developed a great appreciation for their profession. And, because I have deep knowledge of pharmacokinetics – essentially, how medications work in the body – I’m able to bring value to my pharmacy customers.”
Thanks to all of the Cardinal Health nurses and to the many millions of nurses around the globe for the work they do every day to care for patients and keep them safe.