Alexis Glazewski, RN
Working in end-of-life care is an intensely emotional and intimate experience. For Alexis Glazewski, RN, a pediatric nurse who was transferred to the COVID-19 comfort measures-only (CMO) unit at Smilow Cancer Hospital, she has thrived working with this special population of patients – and their families.
“In college, I had a clinical in a hospice setting and loved it,” said Alexis. “It was one of the experiences that instantly felt right for me, and it has been an honor working on the Supportive Care Unit (SCU) since April. It is a privilege to serve these patients and their families as their nurse for a large number of reasons, including getting to always make sure these patients are treated as human beings with a story. This allows me to use a holistic approach and utilize music, stories, and more to create the most comforting environment. Creating a connection and being able to hold their hand while they are passing and crossing that bridge comfortably is a gift.”
Alexis provides support to the grateful families, and helps coordinate the rotation of visitors given the current restrictions due to COVID-19. While patients who enter this unit generally have anywhere from six months to a matter of days left to live, Alexis says it is not always a sad transition for them; most are able to find peace and enjoy sharing stories of their life experiences with her.
Brianna Lutz, BSN, RN, OCN, Assistant Patient Services Manager, says of Alexis and her work in the SCU, “She made the unit the special place that it was. She hand-drew individualized patient signs for each of the doors. While the unit was largely supported by the nursing resource pool, Alexis created tips and tricks for all nurses to reference during their shifts. She planned final birthday parties for patients, took them to the healing garden, and came in on her days off to comfort patients’ loved ones. Alexis truly became the backbone of the unit and took initiative to problem solve and advocate for changes that would benefit the patients.”
Brianna continues, “Alexis is an irreplaceable nurse. It is impossible to adequately capture her genuine spirit and dedication to her patients and their families. She shows incredible resiliency, coming to work each day with a smile and positivity. Her compassion and empathy is second to none and we are all extremely grateful for her commitment to touching patients at end of life. Alexis has demonstrated grace in all aspects of her care and embodies the ‘I am YNHH’ model.”