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Nursing award winner recognized for outstanding care
Hinsdale – Adventist Hinsdale Hospital registered nurse Pam Reetz has been recognized in the Nurse.com Nursing Excellence Awards, winning the inpatient clinical nursing category for the Chicago region.

Reetz’s win was announced Friday, May 10. Nurse.com recognizes outstanding nurses in six different categories, and nurses recognized in the inpatient clinical nursing category demonstrate superior clinical nursing knowledge and expert skills, applying them in ways that affect quality of care and improve patient care outcomes in the inpatient clinical setting.

Reetz said she was honored by the recognition and humbled after hearing the stories of the other candidates nominated.

“This award means a great deal and, in a way, serves as an impetus to do more,” Reetz said. “Being rewarded for something you love to do is a special blessing.”

Reetz’s win was well-deserved, said Shawn Tyrrell, vice president and chief nursing officer at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

“She is a nurse who advocates for patients consistently,” Tyrrell said. “She makes a difference for our staff members and our community each and every day.”

Reetz, who has spent 23 years working at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, is the clinical coordinator in the hospital’s Progressive Care Unit. As such, she manages as many as 35 patients and the nursing and ancillary staff on the unit daily. 

The Downers Grove resident remembers that she and her mother would often talk about her being a nurse as she grew up. It was a field her mother encouraged her to pursue, she said.

“I took an interest in anyone sick in the family, including the pets,” Reetz said. “At a very young age, I would often refer to Taber’s Medical Dictionary and the Merck Manual to look up information.”

She’s also worked hard to advance her education over the course of her career, completing her master’s degree in nursing last August. While pursuing that degree, Reetz completed a project on congestive heart failure. For the project, the hospital called all discharged patients from Reetz’s unit, helping with the transition from hospital to home.

As a result, 30-day readmission rates on the unit fell to 6.7 percent, versus a hospital-wide readmission rate of 21 percent, and a national average of 25 percent. Reetz was able to present her findings at the Clinical Nurse Leader Association Regional Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich. in October 2012. Her project abstract was also accepted at the International Council of Nurses for a poster presentation in Melbourne, Australia this May.

At the hospital, Reetz also helped develop charge sheets for her colleagues, to help streamline patient care and adjust staff workloads as necessary.

“Patients are getting sicker, we’re taking care of patients who have multiple problems,” Reetz said. “So it’s a work in progress. That’s why we’re working on a system that takes all those factors into consideration.”

Reetz also goes above and beyond by working with student nurses on the unit floor, said Shawn Tyrrell, chief nursing officer at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

“Pam has worked as a nurse preceptor for many years and regularly works with students on a weekly basis, often taking more than one student nurse under her wing in a given day,” Tyrrell said.

One such nurse is Kristen Mosher, who remained with the hospital after her student work was complete. Mosher said Reetz helped her talk with doctors and work through patient issues as a student nurse.

“I would look at the schedule to see if she was there every single day I worked,” Mosher said. “If she was there, it was a good day.”

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354