IV Nurse Manager Named a Healthcare Hero

Health and Fitness

January 6, 2014

The Long Island Business News (LIBN) recently awarded its "Health Care Heroes" Nurse Hero Award to Margaret Hempstead, RN, nurse manager of the IV team at South Nassau Communities Hospital. LIBN's "Health Care Heroes" awards honor individuals and organizations in the health care industry in Nassau and Suffolk counties for outstanding leadership and commitment.

As nurse manager of the IV team, Ms. Hempstead, who has been on the South Nassau staff for the past 35 years, administers intravenous medications, parenteral nutrition, chemotherapy and blood transfusions and oversees a staff of 22. Under Ms. Hempstead's leadership, the IV team has expanded its role to include the bedside insertion and oversight of peripherally inserted central catheters using ultrasound, and daily monitoring of patients with central lines to help eliminate central line-associated blood infections.

During her tenure as nurse manager, she has helped develop an educational training program to reinforce critical care EMTs' use of aseptic technique in the insertion of IVs in the field. She also formed a committee to ensure that discharged patients and outpatients with surgically implanted infusa-ports would receive regular catheter maintenance while receiving medical treatment at home.  Her contributions to nursing practice have been recognized by Tangent Medical, a manufacturer of IV therapy products, which selected Ms. Hempstead (a resident of East Rockaway) as a national finalist of the 2013 Nurses' Choice awards. She was one of 27 nurses in the nation and the only Long Island nurse to receive the honor.

Also this year, she won the hospital's Excellence in Community Service award for her nomination for Nurse.com's Nursing Excellence "GEM" (Giving Excellence Meaning) Award in the Clinical Nursing Inpatient category and was saluted by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Garden City in a special ceremony. 

For nearly 30 years, Ms. Hempstead has volunteered as an emergency medical technician for the Woodmere Fire Department. She also lends her expertise to the company's Performance Improvement Committee by helping to improve emergency medical technician lifesaving functions and processes. She has received service awards and citations from her local fire department as well as Nassau County for her dedication to emergency services and two life-saving responses with her rescue team members.

South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region's largest hospitals, with 435 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 employees.  Located in Oceanside, NY, the hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services.  In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Txâ„¢ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies.  South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program.  For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.