The Learning Never Stops
(From Sweet Charity magazine, May/June 2012)
On January 9, 2011, John Raker Hudders, grandson of John and Estella Raker, founders of The Good Shepherd Home, passed away at the Phoebe Home in Allentown. A successful and well-liked attorney, Jack suffered a severe brain injury in a near fatal auto accident in 1997. He arrived at Good Shepherd in a coma. Six months later, he walked out of the brain injury unit, escorted by his sons.
Jack’s quality-of-life was diminished after the accident but he and his wife of 47 years, Sylvia, were so grateful to Good Shepherd for the care he received, they established The John Raker Hudders Endowment Fund for continuing education opportunities for the brain injury staff at Good Shepherd.
Jack’s love for others endures through this generous endowment. Two of Good Shepherd’s caregivers share how they — and our patients — benefit from this generous endowment.
Jan Hoffman, RN, CRNN
Brain Injury Unit
Learning Opportunity: Association
of Rehabilitation Nurses Conference
“I’ve been at Good Shepherd since 1979 and worked on all of the floors. Eleven years ago, I chose to work on the brain injury unit. It’s a smaller unit and I felt I could give more personal care and get to know the patients and their families better. I absolutely love this unit. I feel as though I’m able to contribute as a team member and that my views and expertise are valued by my colleagues.
“I find continuing education to be very valuable. I always look for new ways to think about what I do. I also work as a preceptor for new nurses coming out of nursing school. Continuing education has really helped me with that. By attending the ARN Conferences I stay current on new ideas and new approaches. I also find it valuable to talk with nurses who have the same challenges (with their patients) that we have.
“I went to a good workshop on autonomic dysfunction with spinal cord and traumatic brain injured patients. It’s also referred to as storming where the patient may become agitated. It’s frightening for any nurse and for family members. As chairperson of The Nurse Practice Council at Good Shepherd, I shared the entire 50-page presentation because we’re always looking for ways to improve clinical care for our patients.”
Betsy Hartman, RN, CRNN, MSCN Outpatient Neurorehabilitation
Learning Opportunity: Jaeger/Tilly Neuroscience Nursing Update Conference
“I worked on the brain injury unit for about 10 years before becoming an outpatient neurorehabilitation nurse two years ago. It’s so rewarding to see patients who have been injured come to us after having been inpatients and play a part in their progress. We know our patients well and the patients we get are often complex. They may come to us on tube feeds and they may have speech and swallowing problems.
“Last year I participated in a one-day neuroscience conference at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Everything about this conference is extremely important. It was a good opportunity to get a refresher course on the basics, but they also talked about new medications that came out and different surgical procedures. These are things I need to know when I’m treating and assessing patients.
“Continuing education is extremely important. If I want to provide the best patient care and outcomes, I need to be in tune with what’s going on and be able to practice that. And as nurses, we all need continuing education credits to maintain our licenses. This is costly and the fact that Good Shepherd is willing to help us with our education is wonderful.”
Your gifts supporting the John Raker Hudders Endowment are greatly appreciated. Find out how you can make a difference and support his legacy of caring by contacting Jeannette Edwards at 610-776-3386 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Jan Hoffman, RN, and Betsy Hartman, RN.