Tommy Thompson

On Saturday, December 14, Concordia University Ann Arbor School of Nursing celebrated the Pinning Ceremony for the Delta Class, the third co-hort to graduate from CUAA's school of nursing.

Each semester, Concordia’s nursing faculty and staff nominate students from the graduating cohort who best represent the core values of the nursing program: service, excellence, compassion, and integrity. An additional award, the Nightingale Award, was created as a tribute to Florence Nightingale who embodied nursing as her life’s vocation. The recipient of this award exemplifies that same character and calling.

Click here to see all of the Fall 2019 School of Nursing award recipients.

Compassion Award: Tommy Thompson (’19)

Presented by Kathleen Sheehan

There are many definitions for the word compassion about all the definitions I researched had an element of action.

  • Compassion motivates people to help.
  • People act out of a sense of compassion.
  • A truly compassionate person must be an active participant.

When I think of a compassionate nurse I think about someone at the bedside that is focused on counselling and comforting a patient or family that is suffering or having to make a difficult decision.  When thinking about the student that will be receiving this award, I thought of this but I also had another image.  A compassionate student that is intent on displaying compassion through administrative change.  As I said we can show compassion in many way:

  • We join in suffering as families and patient make difficult decisions.
  • We join organization that lobby for better patient outcomes.
  • We become leaders in our places of work and help shape policy and procedure that require organizations to deliver better care.

This is particularly important when nurses are caring for the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

I had an opportunity to take a group of students to an extended care facility for an immersive clinical experience.

I personally witnessed this student exercise compassion at the bedside but listened as they began to formulate plans to actively find solutions for better patient care in this setting.

At the end of each day during our clinical rotation we would meet as a group and debrief.  I watched and listened as the administrative wheels begin to turn and the ideas for improving patient care on the administrative level began to flow.

What I heard was a student that deeply cared about the well being of the elderly population and the desire to make improvements in this care setting.

So compassion is not simply expressed during the one-to-one interaction with a patient it is also expressed on the administrative and leadership level.

Through the clinical experience this student was motivated to help, wants to be an active participant and is moved to act through a sense of compassion specifically for the elderly population.

I am so proud to present the award for compassion to Tommy Thompson.

Previous Compassion Awardees:

Sherrie Anderson (Beta class, Spring 2019)

Maria Lulgjuraj (Alpha class, Fall 2018)

Click here to learn more about Concordia’s School of Nursing.

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