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Insight On How To Provide Meaningful Recognition To Nurses

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Cindy Lefton has worked as a registered nurse for 37 years. For her, the job requires attention to not only patients’ physical needs, but to their loved ones, helping them know they're in good hands.

Lefton did just that for Dana Nichols Scott when Scott’s younger brother was in the emergency room in 2001. Scott said that even though she knew her brother wouldn’t make it, Lefton helped her family feel at peace.

“Cindy was so awesome. She was caring and made me and my family feel so good at the time,” Scott said. “Even when I think of that time now, during troubled times, I feel at peace because there are people like Cindy around to help people.”

Lefton said that kind of feedback — telling a nurse how their actions made a difference — is the best way to provide meaningful recognition for their work.

“When I hear that I’ve made a human connection with somebody and made a difference in their life, that’s an angel on my shoulder that I carry with me and that I have in my heart,” she said, “to help other patients and also to help my co-workers recognize that they all have angels, too.”

Lefton also works as vice president of organizational consulting at Psychological Associates and serves as pro bono director of research for the Daisy Foundation. She recently spoke about extraordinary nurses and the need for recognition of their work based upon a nationwide study of 1,100 nurses. 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Sarah Fenske talked with Lefton about how the current pandemic is affecting nurses and the best ways to celebrate and support them during this time.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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