Alumnus recognized for exemplary nursing
Using his shirt tail, nursing alumnus Stephen Keough gives a trophy he recently accepted from the province’s largest health-care provider a quick polish.
“I’ve got to keep it shiny,” he jokes, a seemingly permanent smile stretching across his face. After punching in back-to-back 12-hour shifts, he’s tired but grateful for a day off.
He’s even more appreciative – and visibly proud – to be recognized for exemplary service and nursing excellence. He says he was “floored,” when Eastern Health CEO David Diamond called out his name during a special luncheon at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s in June.
Mr. Keough, a bachelor of nursing graduate, is this year’s recipient of the CEO Award of Excellence for Service, one of several honours presented to employees.
“Once he called out my name, I was in shock,” he said humbly during a conversation at his west end St. John’s home. “When I got up on stage, it really struck me how big this award was, especially when I stood in front of all the other employees at the ceremony. I was overwhelmed. I’m not used to a lot of attention but I was very honoured.”
A native of Catalina, N.L., Mr. Keough has been a registered nurse for eight years. After graduating from the Centre for Nursing Studies, he landed a job on the general/thoracic surgery unit at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital – an environment he calls both "busy and complex, yet stimulating." He’s been there ever since.
“I love my job as a nurse,” he continued. “You touch on so many different aspects of health care in the run of a day that it makes for a quick 12-hour shift.”
The service award recognizes employees who continuously inspire others to achieve excellence in their work.
Mr. Keough says he’s proud of his work ethic and ability to motivate colleagues and new graduates, adding that his Six East Unit colleagues at St. Clare’s are among the best in their field.
“We have a lot of students and new staff come to our unit and I love to teach and help them out in any way,” he added. “Also I am someone who is very involved with the unit; if asked to do something, I will participate.”
Although he’s not used to the high-profile recognition, Mr. Keough is thankful his employer acknowledges the tremendous efforts of registered nurses. He says that appreciation is “empowering."
“It really pushes you to want to do more,” he noted. “Since I’ve been chosen for this award, the positive feedback I have received has been overwhelming. I have had close co-workers and people I have never worked with offer me congratulations and tell me they thought I was deserving of the award. It’s nice to be honoured for something you love to do.”