Renee-ShalvoyRenee Shalvoy is a know-it-all. But in a good way.

In her role as the staff development coordinator at the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center –James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, she has to understand the ins and outs of everyone else's job.

"Her knowledge of the health system, ambulatory care and nursing science is bountiful," says Tim Phillips, administrative nursing supervisor. "What makes Renee special and so well-revered is that she is more than willing to share her wealth of knowledge with anyone and everyone."

The 2017 Clinical Excellence Award winner uses that knowledge to acclimate new staff members and keep veterans up-to-speed on advancements in patient care.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I graduated from the Ohio State College of Nursing in 1986.

I have been in the Air Force as a nurse, both active duty and reserves. In the Air Force, I learned to work in all areas of the hospital except for labor and delivery.

In my nursing career, I joke that I have done everything but labor and delivery. Not exactly accurate, but close.

What led you to Ohio State?

After graduating from college and serving in the military, I worked at the Cleveland Clinic in the unit that cared for heart and lung transplant patients. From there, I worked at Riverside in the medical intensive care unit. I was at Riverside when I heard that The James was opening (the original James).

I came to The James and helped to open the James perioperative care area.

Where do you work and what's your role there?

I work for James Nursing Education. I am the staff development coordinator for the ambulatory clinics. I handle the onboarding of nurses and patient care assistants to the clinics and facilitate on-unit education.

What's the most important aspect of your job?

The most important aspect of my job is making sure that both our new staff and current staff have the tools they need to be successful in their jobs. I need to be aware of what each person's role on the unit is and the skills or education they need to do their job in the manner our patients deserve.

The other really important aspect of my job is ensuring that new staff feel that they are an important part of the team and that we are invested in a successful transition. I want them to feel comfortable coming to me with any issues or concerns. I want them to be confident in their new roles.

I think that how we treat our new staff when we are first training them on our units will affect how they feel about the unit from that point on. I want them to understand that they are very important to us and that we are building a team and they are an integral part of that team.

How have you built relationships with patients and other providers?

In my role, I have built relationships with the managers, assistant nurse managers, charge nurses and all of the nurses and PCAs on the units. The management team and I work together to develop and implement an individualized plan for each new employee, but this is always done with input from the charge nurses and preceptors.

We consider the new staff member's prior experience and education needs when planning for successful training for their specific role on the unit. No one role in an exam unit is like another and understanding these differences is essential to implementing an onboarding plan that allows our new team member to be successful.

How do you stay on top of new products, procedures and resources?

This is the other really fun part of my role. I have to learn all of the skills needed to work in each of these very different clinics so I can help ensure the training is complete and up-to-date for our new and current staff. We have everything from lasers to surgical procedures being performed in our clinics and this diversity really makes my job interesting.

I stay current on the professional organizations that govern the areas. I do this by reading the latest journal articles and maintaining my knowledge of the guidelines for equipment. And, of course, I need to stay abreast of all of our policies and procedures related to these skills.

I work with our clinical nurse specialists and my peers in the education department to ensure that what I am teaching the nurses and PCAs is accurate.

You've oriented and educated hundreds of nurses. What's the one piece of advice you try to pass along?

The one piece of advice I give to everyone is: Don't be hard on yourself and give yourself time to learn the nuances of the role. There is a great deal of knowledge needed to be an ambulatory oncology nurse. You will be successful in time, try to be patient with yourself.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is staying organized with so many clinics and onboarding so many staff members. I really like this challenge. I would be bored if it were an easy job.

Of these values -- inclusiveness, determination, empathy, sincerity, ownership and innovation -- which applies to you or your department and how is it demonstrated?

I think Innovation is a theme that I think of when I think of James Nursing Education. We are constantly looking at new equipment and skills that the nurses and PCAs need to learn. I also think it is very important that we use new technology in our training programs. I use a simulation mannequin to complete emergency response training in a more realistic manner. Our department uses simulation in some of our courses like Oncologic Emergencies course.

What else should we know about you?

We are a family of Buckeyes. My husband and I both graduated from Ohio State as did my daughter Kelsey and son, Jack. Our youngest, Sam, is a student at OSU. I, too, am back in school at OSU in the master's program for learning technologies.

Thank you, Renee, for Improving People's Lives!

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