Laura Holland began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at 16 years old, after her grandma became ill. “I loved making a difference in someone’s life every day, even if only for five minutes,” she said. “That five minutes can be a game-changer in that person’s life.”
Sixteen years later, her passion for the work is just as strong, and she’s taken on a new role that allows her to support others in her profession. Laura became the Patient Care Champion (PCC) Supervisor for the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) last year. The position was created to increase the engagement and retention of PCCs.
Laura and a team of caregivers won the Quality Showcase honor for Quarter Two for their work to increase engagement and retention among PCCs and decrease patient falls, among other efforts. Each quarter, the Quality Showcase honors a Monument Health team whose innovative ideas improve care. Laura’s team standardized PCC orientation, updated work flows in Epic, expanded PCC rounding and gave PCCs a voice on the Mobility Safety Committee, allowing them to better understand fall data and provide feedback.
Left to right front: Traci Odegaard, Brenna Schmaltz, Laura Holland, Marcia Taylor, Geraldine Two Bulls; Left to right back: Christy LaCroix, Becky Staedtler, Amber Berry, Christina Zweber, Jake Kleinschmidt
Laura consistently checks in with her PCCs, and she regularly brings them back into a classroom setting to review a “back to the basics” course. Because she still works as a PCC herself, it helps her better relate to those she manages. “They know I truly am one of them because they see me on the floor working right alongside them,” she said.
Jake Kleinschmidt, Nursing Director for the Heart and Vascular Unit, said Laura has driven quality and engagement with her team while also serving as a mentor and advocate for PCCs. “She understands that PCCs are essential to safe and high-quality care,” he said.
The presence of a PCC Supervisor in the PCU showed such promising results that other departments have since added the role to their floors, including the Medical, Ortho-NeuroSurgical, Intensive Care and Heart and Vascular units at Rapid City Hospital. The goal is to continue to add PCC Supervisors throughout the organization.
“I was delighted to get this opportunity, because I still have time with patients, but I can also be there for the caregivers as well,” she said. “I want to be a resource for them and a shoulder to lean on. I have their back, and sometimes that’s all they need.”
According to Laura, PCCs and CNAs are the backbone of safe patient care. “They are the eyes and ears of the patient, spending more time with patients than any other member of the care team.”
During National CNA Week, thank you to all CNAs and PCCs for providing safe, effective care for our patients. You are critical to keeping our communities safe.