If the infamous Nurse Ratched of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’’ depicts the worst of the nursing profession, Rolande Campbell, “Ro,’’ as she is known by all at Bethany Health Care Center, represents its finest.
I first met Ro almost four years ago when I arrived at Bethany, slowly deteriorating from Parkinson’s disease. Without a walker, I was completely immobile. However, my positive adjustment to this new life of dependence was almost unbelievable, not only to me, but to all those who know me. Having made the choice to accept this transition, I began to realize that maintaining a positive outlook would be more difficult. Ro’s usual shift, from 3 to 11 p.m., was a time when discouragement and negativity could set in. But not when she was on duty. Ro has a way of entering a resident’s room with more than the required medication. Always smiling, always a cheery, “Hello, Sister Marie. How are you?’’ Her positive attitude was infectious. She possesses an uncanny ability to detect a patient’s mood and adjusts her approach accordingly—a bit of banter, an awareness of a patient’s less cheery response than usual. Such sensitivity, together with her spontaneous sense of humor, made a strong impact on me and strengthened my resolve to remain positive.
For me, an 81-year-old Sister of St. Joseph, Ro’s spoonful of sugar was the compassion, concern, and understanding with which she ministered to her patients. I also saw her sharing these same qualities with her nurse colleagues and aides. She is an excellent mentor to them and any new staff. Ro mentors by example, not authority, always coupling her fine nursing skills with compassion and empathy. Her inclusiveness with every patient further motivates me because her behavior models the inclusive charisma of my religious congregation.
Ro Campbell’s impact on me has been to “keep on truckin’.’’ Not that my Parkinson’s will be cured, but that I can bear it with grace. For such a powerful impact, I shall be forever grateful. What a difference a nurse like Rolande Campbell would have made to the patients in the “Cuckoo’s Nest.’’
—Nominated by Sister Marie Cicchese