Karla brings warmth and love to her patients and co-workers

Anonymous, Employee

Karla is one of the most compassionate nurses I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She has been a nurse for 33 years at the Battle Creek hospitals. We have worked together in multiple settings over the years. Karla brings warmth and love to her patients and co-workers. She is a person “who has never met a stranger”. She goes out of her way to make people comfortable in an often uncomfortable place. She can often be seen chatting at the bedside, showing pictures of her family and telling one of her funny stories of the day. She shows a true interest in patients’ problems, families and their health. One day, I heard a patient tell her they remembered her clearly. She had made a specific recommendation to them that lead to them getting an organ transplant. She encouraged them to explore their options. They were sure she had saved their life. She always does the little extras for the patients like warm blankets. I’ve seen her go out of her way to add pickle relish to their sandwich or connect a family member with something they need. It’s not unusual for her name to be on the thank you cards that come to the unit. They usually remember her because she is so personable and compassionate. She has a good sense of humor and comes to work up beat. She’s fun to be around.

She’s been part of Bronson’s Little Help Big Difference project for years. Giving of her time and energy and promoting the cause because she genuinely cares. She is an excellent example of what make a nurse compassionate. I am sure her many patients over the years would agree.

Karla Okoniewski is an endoscopy nurse at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. She is the recipient of the 2018 Hazel Latondress Compassion Award, and was recognized during the 2019 Nursing Excellence Celebration.