Special EventsHospice Caregivers AwardJoanna Asselin

We are pleased to announce the Oakey’s Hospice Caregivers Award winner for August 2016 is Joanna Asselin of Gentle Shepherd Hospice.

Joanna was nominated for this award by her peers, friends and hospice families for her dedicated service to hospice patients and their families.

The following are from Joanna’s nomination forms:

Form 1: Joanna Asselin, RN is gentle, kind and a great listener with an intuitive sense of what both patient’s and caregiver’s are needing. She is compassionate, often sharing her cell phone number with family members who are anxious, prays and sits with patients long after she is expected to stay, and respects patients wishes, allowing them to maintain their dignity. She has a calm demeanor and is fully present with whomever she is speaking with. She always has her nose in a nursing or palliative medicine periodical and thirsts for knowledge that will make her a better nurse. She continues her education in nursing and says she sees herself working in hospice and palliative care for a very long time. She demonstrates excellent emotional maturity and is our “go-to” nurse whenever a pediatric hospice referral comes to us. She brings hope to others in seemingly hopeless circumstances. She is beloved not only by her patients but by their families as well, as they recognize the quality of the loving care she gives at the bedside daily. She has a keen eye for details and is excellent at managing symptoms and working alongside physicians in a clinical care setting or autonomously in patients’ homes. She has a close relationship with many facility staff who reach out to her with questions regarding palliative care that she always answers thoroughly and promptly. She goes above and beyond, every day. Please, send Joanna Asselin to my bedside should I need hospice care. She exemplifies what a dedicated and excellent hospice nurse should be.

Form 2: Joanna is a very dedicated nurse who often goes beyond the normal requirements of her job to care for our patients. In the past 2 years that I have worked with her, I have known her to work tirelessly to find just the right combination of medications and care to make end of life easier for the patient as well as the caregiver.

One particular case involved care of a child, which was difficult on the best of days. Joanna used her own resources and time to provide this family with the little extras that brought a little happiness into the terribly sad situation. She is always ready to volunteer her time to assist other nurses who may need an extra hand or opinion on how to best care for their patients.

Joanna loves to sing and has provided music to sooth patients and caregivers. She has often sung their favorite hymns by the bedside and also at funerals.

Gentle Shepherd is blessed to have such a caring, knowledgeable nurse on our staff.

Form 3: Joanna is not only a hard-working, dedicated RN for Gentle Shepherd Hospice, she is also a super-sweet, soft spoken friend. She is highly thought of by the other staff here. She is always ready and willing to step up to any challenge with families and patients. Lots of times, our families/patients ask specifically for her by name to visit and sing to them at their bedside. She is extremely competent in the nursing field and more than compassionate about the families she meets. In the short time I have known her, she has willingly cared for some extremely difficult cases with loads of emotional situations associated with them; she has done so in such a calm, rational manner that you wouldn’t even know chaos ever existed in the homes. She is an excellent caregiver to the patients of Gentle Shepherd Hospice.

Local Support Groups

There are many organizations across the Roanoke Valley who provide grief counseling and support groups. These organizations offer help to people who have experienced loss through death.

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