2 Zale Lipshy R.N.s honored
Two Zale Lipshy University Hospital nurses - a Vietnamese refugee who learned French and English so he could make good in America and an American who chose nursing so she could help serve others in places like Sudan - have won the admiration of their profession.
Kim Tieu, a neurology/orthopaedic nurse, was co-winner of NurseWeek magazine's 2004 Nursing Excellence Award in Clinical Care for the South Central Region.
Lisabeth List, a Zale Lipshy recovery room nurse who just returned for a brief visit to the states from a stint with Doctors Without Borders, was named a finalist in the magazine's Nursing Excellence Award in Community Service.
"It was an honor for me to get it," said Mr. Tieu. At first he didn't think he'd won because his co-winner's picture was projected on the screen first at the Oct. 9 awards dinner in Houston. Then he said, when his picture came up: "Then I shouted 'Woo, I got it! I got it!'"
Stephanie Huckaby, Mr. Tieu's clinical nurse manager, said, "He maintains a positive attitude, and he's really good at what he does. He mentors new employees and shares his knowledge with others.
"He's very compassionate about his nursing and I think his patients can sense that. In neuro/ortho, you get to see the patients from the beginning of their stay all the way through the end of their stay, and it's very rewarding. That's where Kim excels as he's very caring to all his patients."
Mr. Tieu, who was named Zale Lipshy's Employee of the Year 2003, works the weekend night shift on the fifth floor.
After leaving Vietnam as part of the "boat people" movement, he spent three years in an Indonesian refugee camp where he learned English so well they wanted him to stay to teach other refugees English rather than come to America. But he chose to move to Montreal, where he then learned French in order to attend nursing school. He then made his way to West Texas. A yearning to be closer to the ocean brought him to Dallas - arguably slightly closer - and a job where he loves taking care of people at Zale Lipshy.
Ms. List received recognition as one of five finalists in the Nursing Excellence Awards Community Service category for her work with Doctors Without Borders, a medical and humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters.
When in Dallas Ms. List works in the recovery room at Zale Lipshy on an as-needed basis, which allows her to spend months at a time working with Doctors Without Borders. Her most recent assignment has been in refugee camps near Darfur, Sudan, helping those forced from their villages because of the country's civil war. She returned at the end of October and will continue her work there through December.
Even though surgery in an underdeveloped country is different from Zale Lipshy's recovery-room nursing, Ms. List said she loves them both. "Sometimes the skills will overlap. It's totally different type of work, but I feel torn between the two lives. I'm not ready to do just one. I really like doing both so much."
Ms. List's supervisor, Alison Watkins, said, "She's certainly got a mission. She has an undying devotion to Doctors Without Borders. It's her place in life. She loves her time at home but always has a yearning to go back."
Ms. List said, "It's an honor to get to know someone with a different reality and make a difference in someone's life and walk away with so much more than I've given."