Getting Tough on Smoking
“She was really tough on me, but I like her! She told me what I needed to hear.”
This is how one patient described her interaction with volunteer nurse Mary Etta Boyce. Mary Etta has been volunteering with CrossOver for 3 years, and has already logged 500 hours! She has southern charm to spare, but she is tough when it comes to smoking. As a former smoker herself, she takes quitting very seriously.
“Having quit myself, I know how hard it is and how important a support system can be,” Mary Etta says. “Everybody needs a cheerleader and I am happy to be one for our patients.”
Mary Etta is just one of the nurses on our Smoking Cessation Task Force.
Developed this year, the task force is working to unify and strengthen our current interventions to help patients stop smoking.
With electronic medical records we are able to track patients smoking habits and their readiness and willingness to quit.Everyday our nurses wear “Ask me about quitting,” buttons to prompt patients and nurses to discuss smoking cessation.We have also developed a packet of materials with information to help patients kick the habit.Mary Etta has run with the new program.
“Mary Etta ALWAYS wears her button, and asks every patient what their current smoking status is. She congratulates patients who have quit or are in the process of quitting,” says Renne Hammel, Staff Nurse Practitioner. “Helping patients quit is obviously a passion for Mary Etta; she always makes it a priority at every visit.