2016 Kaiser Permanente Extraordinary Nurse Award winner Milanelle Guiao-Tranchina, RN, BSN, CMSRN, has a nursing practice equally informed by competence and compassion.
At Kaiser Permanente’s South Sacramento Medical Center, where Milanelle Guiao-Tranchina works as a staff nurse IV on the Medical Surgical Telemetry Unit, patients and staff are encouraged to share feedback about employees who demonstrate safety, compassion, integrity, excellence, and efficiency.
“Each month, we receive at least 5 submissions about Lanie,” said her colleagues.
The list of Guiao-Tranchina’s accomplishments is long: She’s an active member of the department’s Quality Council, serves on committees devoted to Caring Science and sepsis prevention, and leads community outreach projects. She mentors fellow nurses to achieve professional advancement and helps them reduce stress as a HeartMath trainer.
Guiao-Tranchina shared some reflections on her nursing journey:
What made you want to become a nurse?
I’m from the Philippines, where nurses are held in high regard. Every mother dreams of having her daughter become a nurse. Since I had been caring for family most of my life, it was a natural transition, and it’s been my calling ever since.
What do you love about nursing?
I’m very sociable, and I love talking with people and hearing their stories. Sometimes we have patients who are very sick, and we can’t save them. But I do everything I can to help them have a happy ending to their story.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
Making the transition from being a nurse who is very efficient and takes care of her patients, to being a mother to my 2 kids and a wife to my husband. My adrenaline level is very high all day. At the end of my shift, I need to re-channel that energy to create my own healing environment.
What was one of your most memorable moments as a nurse?
I had an older patient who had been living on the streets and was doing very poorly. The doctor told him he had about a week to live. I asked him if he had any last wishes, and he said that he wanted to say goodbye to his son, who he had lost contact with, and feel the sun on his face one last time.
My nursing assistant immediately started trying to locate his son. And I started making arrangements for him to be able leave the unit. By 2 p.m., his son arrived. The father’s face lit up, and I heard him apologize, and then he talked with his son for nearly an hour. Afterwards, the RN transport brought the patient outside. It was a beautiful day, with sunshine and a cool breeze. When he came back, he thanked me and said, “I think I am ready.”
Can you describe a professional achievement you’re proud of?
I developed a program called the Enhanced Care Experience Project, which uses comfort measures like therapeutic touch and music therapy and aromatherapy. Nurses go room to room and spend some uninterrupted time with patients or family members, putting on soft music and offering a hand massage. People appreciate it so much and report a significant improvement in their care experience.
I was chosen to present the program at the 2016 Caritas Consortium, alongside nursing leaders like Dr. Jean Watson, the mother of Caring Science!
What advice do you have for nurses who are new to KP?
Nursing is all about heart. If you get into nursing just for the paycheck, you will always be tired, dissatisfied, and unhappy. But if you bring your heart into this profession, you will find career opportunities and advancement.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I ride a Harley. People don’t expect that because I keep my hair in a bun and wear high heels. But I married a guy who rides a Harley, and I vowed to stay with him in sickness and health.