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Nurse award winner has special connection with patients
Photo caption: Registered Nurse Jayci Dubik, right, works with Chamberlain College of Nursing student Mona Patel on the Intensive Care Unit at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.

La Grange – Registered Nurse Jayci Dubik remembers visiting the hospital as a young girl and spending time on the unit where nurses cared for premature babies.

Dubik and her siblings were all born premature, Dubik said, and they would visit the hospital they were born at for annual reunions of families of premature babies.

“Since all four us were premies, my parents made sure we all went to appreciate what they did for us and our family,” Dubik said. “They would have a little party and offer tours to the outside of the neonatal intensive care unit, so you were able to see the nurses in action and the babies.”

This experience eventually led her to nursing.

“The nurses were so nice holding the babies and feeding them,” Dubik said. “I told my mom, ‘I’m going to do that one day.’”

Dubik has been a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital for the past year and a half, and recently was named the hospital’s Caritas Core Values Award winner, a hospital honor bestowed upon a nurse who has earned the trust and respect of patients and other health care professionals.

Although she’s still relatively new to the field, Dubik is already working as a nurse preceptor at the hospital, helping teach student nurses, said Maria Suvacarov, nursing director for the Intensive Care Unit at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital.

This is a rarity for a newer nurse.

“She has proven to be an excellent nurse,” Suvacarov said. “She has very good clinical judgment.”

Dubik’s career at the hospital goes beyond her nursing career. She’s worked there for the past seven years, beginning as a patient transporter when she was 18.

The Minooka resident worked her way up to patient care technician before going to nursing school. The La Grange Memorial Hospital Foundation supplied her with a scholarship to help pay for her education. She’s now one class away from her bachelor’s degree and plans to start her post-graduate studies this summer.

“This organization fits with my personality and spiritual beliefs,” Dubik said. “I like their mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. I’m a faithful person and I like to follow that.”

Dubik is not the only award winner in her household this year. Her husband, Matt, is a firefighter paramedic with the Brookfield fire department and is a fire lieutenant with the Willow Springs Fire Department. Brookfield just named him its Firefighter of the Year, while Loyola awarded him for the Outstanding Call of the Year.

The pair met at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, in its emergency department. He brought patients in, Dubik said, and the two struck up a friendship. Coincidentally, they were both pursing degrees from Moraine Valley Community College at the same time.

When she’s not working, Dubik volunteers with the American Red Cross and the Wounded Warrior Project. Both organizations bridge the gap between health care and patients and help develop relationships of trust and charity, Dubik said.

Dubik’s own family has experience with the military. Her brother was wounded in Afghanistan while Dubik was studying for her nursing degree. She took two months off from work to care for him, with the hospital’s emergency department staff raising money to assist her.

Dubik connects well with her patients, Suvacarov said, and always goes the extra mile for people. And while new nurses are sometimes afraid to ask questions about patient matters, Dubik is not, which helps make her a good nurse.

“Jayci is a great team player, and she is always willing to help wherever she is needed, said Mary Murphy, vice president and chief nursing officer at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. “She serves as a fine example for all our nurses, and we are proud to have her on our staff.”

As a nurse, Dubik said she enjoys taking care of people.

“I love the personal relationships you have taking care of somebody,” she said. “Just that one day you spend with them can change their life.”

She remembers one patient specifically, a man diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. His doctors gave him six months, she said, but he managed to live for almost two years. He was a frequent visitor to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

In his final days, Dubik helped to arrange for home hospice for the man. The morning after he returned home to his family, he died.

“I went to the wake and saw the family,” she said. “They were so thankful I was able to help him be at peace. For them to have that appreciation for me is humbling.”

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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.