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Ohio Hospital Association Award Nominee: Carol Hucul

May 07, 2019

Ohio Hospital Association Award Nominee: Carol Hucul

Carol’s manager describes her as the “go-to safe nurse,” as she can always count on Carol to effectively manage any situation, from handling an emergency to cheering a patient up on a bad day. Carol is unique in that when there are no patient emergencies, she always finds a way to have fun. Her patients consistently remark that they love when she is around to make them laugh. She is a dedicated nurse with a keen sense of what her patients and their families need. If only one word could be used to describe Carol, “self-less” would be the best fit. A constant giver, Carol offers gifts, financial resources, homemade goodies, and manual labor to not only her own family and co-workers but also her patients and their families.

Carol could be considered a “founding member” of the Infusion Center at Southview Medical Center. When the center was transferred from Kettering Medical Center, she was one of two staff nurses to make the move. Now, she is considered a senior lead infusion nurse on her team, in which the other nurses look to her during her shifts, always reassured by her calm demeanor and ability to navigate difficult circumstances with ease. Her manager consistently looks to her to help train new nurses who join their unit, as Carol has a well-defined knowledge of taking care of patients going through infusion treatments specifically. Recently, the unit purchased a new ultrasound machine to perform peripheral IVs, and Carol was designated the lead user and called on to help train her co-workers. She was also chosen to attend the Infusion Nurse Society Conference for two years in a row, and when the department didn’t have the funds to send her, she paid her own way.  

When Carol first transitioned to the Infusion Center at Southview Medical Center, she put in nine to 10 hours a day, six days a week as a part-time nurse to make sure every patient was taken care of and all tasks were in progress. Though she has since condensed her hours as new nurses join her team, Carol is always willing and eager to come in or stay late whenever she is needed. She volunteers on her time off to train fellow nurses when needed. Carol truly adores her elderly patients and will often make sure she’s the one caring for them despite the possibility of complications making that population’s treatments take longer than average. If any of her patients are admitted to the hospital, she always makes it a point to visit them. Carol’s patients’ conditions are generally chronic, and they are usually receiving treatment indefinitely. Whenever a patient of Carol’s passes away, she will attend their funerals and make sure their families have everything they need. She sees a patient’s treatment through to the end.

Kettering Health Network has five core values on which it operates, “caring” being the one to describe Carol best. Carol selflessly takes the time to learn about her patients and address their needs, even when it isn’t her responsibility. One patient of Carol’s came in five days a week for an eight-hour infusion, often using her tablet to keep herself entertained during that time. Carol noticed one day that her tablet had stopped working, so she brought in an old iPad she was no longer using and gifted it to the patient. She has also given her Apple watch to a patient and her Fitbit to a legally blind volunteer because it had a bigger face that the volunteer could see better. As an artistic person, Carol uses her talents to make homemade gifts and fill a big box with them that she brings in during Christmas time to make sure everyone, including co-workers and patients, gets a present. She does all of this quietly and with humility, expecting no recognition in return.

While Carol ensures that her patients always have what they need during treatment, her giving doesn’t stop when they walk out the door. She donated laminate flooring to a patient after finding out their children were walking around on plywood. She has mowed patients’ lawns when they weren’t able and made sure they had food to eat. When she did home-care, she had her car stocked with toys, books, and clothes for anyone who needed it. During Christmas, Carol “adopted” four pre-school classes and shopped for twenty students, taking special care to purchase the gifts children put on their wish lists. She regularly administers testosterone shots to a neighbor who lives alone, and she’s been known to secretly pay for the meals of other customers in restaurants. With such a generous heart, she has been described as someone who would do anything for anybody.