DUARTE, Calif. — Nurses at a Duarte hospital have received national recognition.
The nursing staff at City of Hope received a magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an honor only 9% of hospitals nationwide have earned.
The award followed feedback from patients who said many nurses provided extra care, especially as the pandemic forced them to be treated alone.
Patient Marlisse Reina was interviewed by the review board about her nurses. She said they filled a void when her family was unable to support her in the hospital.
To fight ovarian cancer, she had to have chemo alone and a surgery in isolation.
“I woke up, I was by myself, called my parents, Facetimed with them,” Reina said. “But it was nice because you get a lot of nurses that hold your hand.”
One of those nurses was Martha Lajpop who considers her patients her heroes. Lajpop has helped dozens of cancer patients during her three years at City of Hope, but during the pandemic she’s felt a need to be less of a nurse, and more of a friend.
“My goal each day is to be that family member, to try and fill in that gap as much as I can,” Lajpop said. “I know I’m not blood related to them but my goal is to try my best to even at least be a listening ear.”
Lajpop was a listening ear one unforgettable day when she and a team of nurses found Marlisse crying after talking to the doctor. She had just been told she is in remission.
“I was immediately surrounded by the nurses at City of Hope and Martha,” Reina said. “It never felt like a loss. It felt like the biggest win ever. The fact not having my family there didn’t bother me, which is interesting because there was so much love and cohesiveness and compassion.”
Reina is now taking a chemo pill to ensure the cancer stays away. She’s also engaged and planning her wedding.