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Ohio Hospital Association Award Nominee: Addison Huizenga

May 13, 2019

Addison is a recent college graduate who has been an emergency RN for about nine months. In that short amount of time, she has proven herself as a caring and competent nurse that her co-workers and patients adore. During her time in school, Addison travelled abroad, an experience that allowed her to gain invaluable insight and experience in relation to nursing and caring for a community. She now uses that knowledge to stand out as an achiever among her peers. Her countless achievements prior to graduating not only contributed to the decision to hire her, but also created trust in her ability, which has allowed her to take on more responsibility earlier in her career. Addison’s co-workers have said that she has really stepped out of her shell and stepped up to the challenge of her role with the network.

In the Emergency Department, Addison leads by example. She’s proactive in caring for her patients and even her team members, intuiting needs before they arise and addressing them accordingly. Addison has a cool and collected demeanor that allows her to deal with any situation with a clear head and has a positive effect on the rest of her team. One of her most important roles is chair of the Emergency Department Unit Council. Most new nurses don’t take on such a role because they’re still trying to feel comfortable with nursing, but Addison hit the ground running and already has this year’s meetings planned, speakers scheduled, and a questionnaire out to her co-workers to get an understanding of what would be most useful to them. This is what makes Addison progress beyond other nurses with her level of experience: her motivation and drive lead her to success. Her ability to focus on the needs and preferences of those around her has allowed her to grow into a leader within her department.

In addition to her role as chair, Addison is a volunteer for the Stop the Bleed program, which has provided nearly 600 members of the community with basic techniques of bleeding control in life-threatening situations. Though a network initiative, this volunteer role is not a required part of Addison’s job, but an extra way she found to help out. Addison has also been singled out as a role model for other nurses, so she takes on new hires as shadows to show them how to succeed in the department and do their jobs effectively. It is not uncommon for new nurses to shadow employees in their departments before working independently, but having someone so new to their role be a successful guide is unique to Addison. In this way, Addison offers something no other nurse can: fresh perspective and empathy for someone just entering their role, but the expertise to guide them to comfortability and confidence.

Addison is described as a person full of love and light who lives our mission in both her personal and professional life. All of Addison’s efforts point toward the mission of working to improve the lives of those in our community, whether that’s through offering them excellent care in the Emergency Department or working toward a greater cause outside of the hospital. People can count on Addison to do her job fully and adequately, and for that reason, she’s seen as a dependable member of her team. Addison is the type of health care worker that transforms the health care experience for her patients. Whether she’s offering help where she can or letting a patient know she cares, people trust Addison, and that’s one of the most important values a health care worker can have.

One of Addison’s life mottos is to engross herself in everything she can think of to do. Combined with the joy she feels from serving others, that sentiment is what inspires Addison to reach out to her community. When Addison was in college, she started a local chapter of the organization Love Your Melon and became president of that chapter. The initiative gave Addison and her peers the opportunity to raise awareness of pediatric cancer, and raise money for affected families and the local Ronald McDonald House, setting the precedent for her successful career in health care. She has also spent time volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America and 4 Paws For Ability, an organization that provides service dogs to children. Her love for offering her time and talents shine through in both her day-to-day responsibilities and her volunteering commitments.