Christy Shea praised for patient care
Christy Shea ’01 didn’t need an award to make her feel that her work is important. The Decker School graduate says she was honored, however, to receive a Samuel and May Rudin Award for Excellence in Nursing at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The peer-nominated award recognized her outstanding patient care and her work to establish programs that strengthen rapport between nurses.
“When I found out that I won the award, it was such a shock,” Shea says. “Here at Sloan-Kettering, the caliber of nurses is so high, it was very humbling to be chosen.”
Shea, who has been at Sloan-Kettering since shortly after graduation, is a nurse in the post-anesthetic care unit (PACU), where she takes care of patients just out of surgery. As a PACU nurse, she monitors patients’ vital signs, manages their post-operative pain and checks for excessive bleeding or complications. Shea spent her first two years at Sloan-Kettering on an orthopedic, neurosurgical and pain and palliative care unit, working to relieve patients’ physical and mental suffering.
“Every day, I’m reminded of what a gift life is,” Shea says. “My job is to help people live the best they can and bring comfort to them in a trying time. I truly love my work, and I think that’s reflected in the care I give.”
She encourages young people to consider nursing. As a Binghamton freshman, Shea was an unfocused liberal arts major. Encouraged by her mother and her roommate, Beth Saubermann ’01 — a Decker student — Shea shadowed two nurse practitioners at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. The experience helped Shea find a career.
“After I got into Decker, I enjoyed my classes so much, and it reaffirmed I made the right decision,” Shea says. “I liked how my studies were focused and I knew what I’d be doing after graduation. The Decker School is excellent, and it prepared me very well to go into the nursing field.”