The EXPERTISE she demonstrates daily is unquestionably deserving of this honorable tribute
Nominating Michelle Wirebaugh for a Nursing Excellence Award is not a difficult task because she exemplifies many of the qualities listed in EVERY nursing excellence award category. However, if you have seen her in action, it’s clear that the EXPERTISE she demonstrates daily is unquestionably deserving of this honorable tribute.
Michelle has been a nurse in the ED for seven years and began working as the lead RN preceptor in 2017. Michelle has many years of nursing experience and an infectious passion for emergency medicine. She mentors new nurses every single day with professionalism and grace. She guides the entire team whenever she is present in the department, fostering a nurturing, learning relationship and building competence and confidence while gently correcting any behaviors or skills that don’t align with current practice or protocol. Michelle thoughtfully upgraded the emergency nurse preceptor program after gaining feedback from her peers, leaders, and the physician group on what a comprehensive orientation should look like. Michelle starts each RN orientation by spending extra time with the new nurse to get an idea of their unique strengths and weaknesses. She then pairs them with an RN mentor who can best support the new nurse with growth in those areas. Michelle provides her phone number to each new nurse and reaches out to them regularly to assess support needs. As the new nurse starts working in the department, Michelle offers lectures on emergency medicine care for all body systems, working through challenging care scenarios and offering clinical pearls for each category. Michelle then works at the elbow of each new nurse helping them identify distinct learning opportunities to promote independence and develop the confidence to practice nursing at a more competent and autonomous level. Michelle immerses herself in each new nurse’s 10-16 week orientation and has fully trained more than 20 new nurses in the past year alone.
Michelle is always one of the first to trial a new process whenever it contributes to improving clinical care of ER patients. The ER has added paramedics to the care model and Michelle made significant contributions to the development of the care model and training of each new paramedic. Michelle also participates in several committees that support reinforcing or improving the skills of the clinical team.
An expert nurse is one who demonstrates advanced clinical skills, guides competent care, critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, and professional development. Michelle Wirebaugh effortlessly cultivates compassionate, team oriented, expert nurses…the ones who save lives every single day…a skill she does not brag or boast about…yet one that is selfless, honorable, and extremely deserving of recognition.
Michelle Wirebaugh is a nurse in the emergency department at Bronson Methodist Hospital. She is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Expertise Award, and was recognized during the 2022 Nursing Excellence Celebration.