Tomorrow, the National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, from our partners at the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, will be presented to one of six nominees at the 20th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston.
So far, we’ve featured four of the six nominees here on the blog: Rick Boyte, MD, Melody J. Cunningham, MD and Cheryl D. Kane, MEd, BSN, RN and Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C. Today, meet the fifth nominee, Jayne O’Malley.
Jayne O’Malley, BSN, RN, OCN
Orange Regional Medical Center (Middletown, New York)
“It was obvious how much Jayne cared for my mom. She treated her with kindness, respect and love; her compassion was unending.” – A patient’s daughter
It can be very disorienting for patients who receive a devastating cancer diagnosis, or experience treatment side effects that impact their appearance, ability to eat, speak, see or hear. This is where Jayne O’Malley steps in.
“Everybody is deserving of compassion. Nobody ‘deserves’ a cancer diagnosis,” says Jayne, a nurse and lung cancer navigator at Orange Regional Medical Center. “My goal is to be there and offer support through the peaks and valleys that my patients face. When illness strikes, not only is the patient impacted, family and friends also need compassion and care.”
When Jayne sees a need, she takes it upon herself to research and propose a solution. She has been instrumental in introducing patient support groups and implementing a lung cancer screening program, which has helped countless participants.
“Jayne brings professionalism, confidence, empathy, passion, warmth, and energy to work every day, which not only assists and motivates her colleagues, but acts as a beacon of hope for her patients,” says a physician colleague.
She is also known to spend a lot of her personal time and resources to help her patients. She has bought a pre-paid cell phone so a patient could communicate about his treatment; helped a homeless patient deal with issues with his feeding tube; taken a patient to experience a beautiful waterfall; and has brought dinner to the homes of family members to ensure they were nourished.
A patient’s daughter notes that “upon meeting Jayne, there was an instant feeling of relief knowing there was someone guiding us along this very frightening and uncertain path. Jayne brought a sense of calm and reassurance that we were in the best hands possible.”
Jayne often creates strong and lasting bonds with her patients. She once had a cancer patient who met the love of her life and got engaged. “Jayne gave this patient hope, smiles, warm touches and encouragement in planning the wedding,” says a colleague. “Her prognosis was poor, but never did Jayne allow this patient to be discouraged and she helped her pull of their fairytale wedding, which they planned during her weekly chemotherapy sessions.”
Jayne was there on that special day, just as she was there in the patient’s home on the day she passed away. The patient’s husband donated artwork to the infusion center in honor of his wife, knowing she’d want to provide a relaxing scene for other patients to enjoy and help them feel at ease.
“There are great rewards that result from compassion,” says Jayne. “The lifelong relationships forged with patients and family members is something to be cherished.
Let’s celebrate compassionate care, together.
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