Salute to Nurses: Stephanie Gedeon
Date: May 1, 2023
Categories: Health Focused
Nurses nationwide have increasing demands placed on them. As a result, they are asked to do more with less, making it challenging to provide the high level of care patients need and deserve. In addition, the nursing shortage is a significant challenge; there aren’t enough nurses to meet the growing demand, which leads to burnout and compassion fatigue.
It is a pleasure to take this opportunity to pay tribute to these courageous individuals for their selflessness and for going above and beyond. We thank all the nurses out there for what they do, day in and day out. We appreciate you and are eternally grateful. Join us as we take a brief glimpse into the person behind the mask and what inspired them to be a nurse.
When Stephanie Gedeon was a little girl, her grandmother was in a horrible car accident. Once her grandmother was discharged from the hospital, home health nurses, aides, and therapists came to her home to provide continued care. The care provided to her grandmother, whom she was very close to, was so excellent that it impacted Stephanie’s life. “At the age of four, I knew that I wanted to care for others the way my grandmother was cared for,” says Gedeon.
In high school, Gedeon began her nursing journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). She now holds a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Health Systems Management from the University of Virginia. Her foundational nursing position was on an Inpatient Surgical Unit where she cared for postoperative patients to aid their recovery before discharge. To Gedeon, the number one trait of a nurse is compassion. “You have to be able to understand what your patient and families are dealing with and meet them where they are,” explains Gedeon. She has been able to provide compassion in so many ways and finds herself very fortunate to have practiced step-down nursing, where patients require more intensive care and a variety of leadership roles. Before working at Augusta Health, she was responsible for overseeing the care of patients in Oncology and Inpatient Rehabilitation, as well as Safe Patient Flow, Nursing Supervision, and Clinical Education.
In 2021, Gedeon joined the Augusta Health team. “The mission of Augusta Health is what brought me here,” says Gedeon. “This is a community, one that empowers all team members to serve the community. From the farm serving our community members experiencing food insecurity to the support the foundation places on the growth and support of all team members to encouraging wellness through gym reimbursement and wellness app. Augusta Health wants to improve the community, including our team members. It truly is the family you choose.”
Gedeon’s current role as Assistant Chief Nursing Officer allows her to serve and support the entire nursing division at Augusta Health. In addition, she collaborates with multiple interdisciplinary partners to support Professional Practice, Patient Experience, Safe Patient Flow and Staffing, and Recruitment and Retention.
On March 20, 2023, Augusta Health Nursing leaders gathered as a team in the boardroom to hear the results of their Pathway to Excellence Survey from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These results determined if Augusta Health would receive a Pathway Designation. “The moment I heard we had not only achieved this but received an exemplary status was one of the proudest moments I have ever had in my career,” says Gedeon. “It is most special because it has always been for our teams. During a global pandemic, this journey helped us ensure we provided the BEST possible environment for our nurses to practice. It validated that we did so for our nurses. And to know that we will continue to improve and raise the bar to ensure our nurses are safe and well.”
You will very rarely find Gedeon in her office. Instead, you will find her connecting with staff. “It may be a hard day, but I hope that by rounding, bringing treats, and asking how I can help them at that moment, they know I care and want to support them through everything possible,” explains Gedeon. She also supports Augusta Health nurses by helping launch educational programs that will assist them in growing professionally. “It’s important to me that I know how the direct care nurses are doing and what will help them, and then I work to try to improve what is most important to them.”
To Gedeon, the biggest challenge facing nursing today is the unknown for the future, as the forecast of the nursing shortage could be better. “We must be innovative and persevere, just as we did during the pandemic,” says Gedeon. Throughout her years of nursing, she continues to work to improve her listening and being adaptable. “This goes back to what is essential for nurses, and it’s true for nurse leaders. We are all people who need to be cared for and heard.”
Stephanie Gedeon, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
Assistant Chief Nursing Officer