It’s the little victories that keep her going

It’s the little victories that keep her going

For Kelly Nagorny, a COVID-19 unit nurse at Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh, seeing patients recover and return home to their loved ones is the bright spot that provides hope on the darkest of days.

“Our motivation is having so many of our patients have positive outcomes,” said Nagorny, a nurse lead and professional development generalist. “Being able to witness both the struggle and the hard-fought recoveries feels like a victory every time. We all feel the joy of discharging patients who’ve been critically sick for weeks.”

Though they’ve seen many recoveries, her team has also seen their share of losses. When dealing surges, the staff has often been stretched thin as they strive to still deliver the highest levels of care.

COVID-19 has brought about all types of new learnings for Nagorny. Every day she’s updating her team on the latest new medical therapies, how to prevent infection, guidelines around isolation and new nursing interventions.

With her focus on safety and education, Nagorny’s main role is helping grow and mentor nurses through a pandemic that is rapidly evolving. She teaches evidence-based practices to nurses just starting their careers – no small feat with cases as complex and critical as those that fill the COVID unit.

“Not only do I love helping patients when they need it most, but I love seeing the growth in my fellow nurses as they are supported in caring for these patients,” Nagorny said. “My goal is to reassure both the patient and the primary nurse providing care and get them both through the panic of a crisis.”

Click here for more stories about doctors, nurses and others working on the front lines.

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About the Author

Toya Campbell
Toya Campbell

Latoya Campbell, health enews contributor, is a Public Affairs Coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BS degree in Communications/Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and previously worked in digital and graphic marketing for a public library. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fitness activities and a good spa day.