FAIRFIELD — At the root of NorthBay Medical Center’s Level III trauma program are two nurses who take the drama out of trauma by having in place a well-trained team equipped with precise tools to respond at a moment’s notice.
Registered nurses Heather Venezio and Sandra Bauman are taking NorthBay Trauma Center to the next level. With years of experience in trauma care, they work in tandem with those who stand ready 24/7 to care for even the most severely injured patients.
Venezio, trauma program director, began her nursing career in a Level II trauma center and understands the depth of care needed throughout the hospital for such a program. NorthBay Medical Center will seek a higher designation, Level II, later this year.
“Trauma touches every part of the hospital, not just the emergency department,” Venezio said. “Nursing, intensive care, imaging, the lab, pharmacy and surgery feel the impact when a patient arrives. My job is to upgrade the skills of all patient care staff.”
Venezio established a trauma committee and peer review council to assess the program’s progress. She’s proud of the collaborative effort that encourages nurses to join physicians in the peer review process. She reviews patient charts on a daily basis and continually goes outside the hospital for community education on trauma prevention.
“Every day we treat injuries from falls,” she said. “So education on fall prevention is important for Solano County residents.”
She is now chairwoman of the Fall Prevention Partnership of Solano County.
Bauman, clinical manager of emergency services, came to NorthBay with 25 years of emergency care experience in an East Coast hospital. When she began her career as an emergency room nurse, trauma was not yet a specialty – emergency departments routinely cared for all patients, regardless of the severity of their injuries. By the time she left the department, it was a Level II trauma center treating close to 300,000 patients a year.
Now, her job is taking care of the nurses who take care of the patients. She teaches a core trauma curriculum required of every emergency department nurse. In addition, she purchases all of the equipment and supplies used in the emergency department. And, she teaches continuing education classes for local emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Together, Venezio and Bauman are a formidable team, Emergency and Trauma Services Director Daman Mott said.
“These incredibly professional women do a lion’s share of the daily operations work to sustain and grow NorthBay’s cutting-edge program,” he said. “I’m proud they are part of my trauma family, and proud that their commitment extends into the community.”
“We all live and work in the community,” Venezio said. “We have a vested interest in providing good care. It’s a badge of honor to work at NorthBay Medical Center and care for our neighbors.”
“NorthBay’s core values are my core values,” she said. “Respect, integrity – I like the way people interact here – and the patient comes first.”
Venezio and Bauman are also active in professional associations. Venezio is currently president of the Sacramento chapter of the California Emergency Nurses Association. Bauman, a certified nurse executive, is set to take over the reins as president-elect. Both believe meeting with their peers from other hospitals provides further educational opportunities – all with the goal of providing the best patient care possible.
Marilyn Ranson is a public relations specialist with NorthBay Healthcare.