Kimberly DuBore has worked at Grays Harbor Community Hospital (GHCH) for nearly 24 years. Known as the “PICC Chick” for her skill in inserting PICC lines, DuBore recently received a national award from the Association of Radiologic and Imaging Nursing (ARIN). She was selected out of 1400 member nurses to receive the Charlotte Godwin award, honoring those who demonstrate quality and safe care within the field of radiology nursing.
“I was thrilled to represent our hospital and my department. In radiology, we truly are a team. I cannot perform my job without my cohorts,” says DuBore.
Initially, DuBore worked in the operating room as part of the vascular access team. Because of her skill set, she was often asked to assist the radiologists with sedation, invasive procedures and vascular access devices. As Radiology added providers and services, the department recognized an increased need for radiologic nurses. DuBore eventually became the first radiologic and imaging nurse at GHCH.
The GHCH radiology team has worked to bring several key treatment options to Grays Harbor. Image-guided pain management is at the top of the list, including a new treatment for chronic migraines. While at a national radiology conference, DuBore met an anesthesiologist who had patented a device to aid in migraine treatments. Within weeks GHCH radiologists received training on the procedure.
“We are one of maybe two hospitals in the state to treat chronic migraines using ganglion nerve blocks,” explains Dr. Ryan Farrer, Chief of Radiology at GHCH. The initial studies at GHCH included a patient who had suffered from daily migraines for decades. While other medications and treatments had failed, the ganglion block gave her immediate relief. For patients who suffer from chronic pain, the procedure can prove to be a life-changer.
The team approach has allowed the Radiology Department to expand their services to the community. With a dedicated radiologic nurse on staff to monitor patients, provide education and communicate with other providers in the area, GHCH is now able to provide interventions that used to require a patient to travel to Olympia.
The team has also developed a vascular access program, with specific competencies and standards of care. The program is so successful, in fact, that DuBore has been asked to speak at the national level about their work. She also sits on the board of the Puget Sound Infusion Nurses Society.
“Kimberly is very dedicated, particularly with her expertise in IV and vein access and with pain management,” reports Charles Skorzewski, Director of Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Services. “Like the rest of our radiology and vascular access teams, she has a strong commitment to patients and our community.”
For DuBore and the rest of the Radiology staff, the reward comes in helping patients comfortably receive care that can potentially save their lives.