The Texas Nurse Association’s District 9 recognized the work and dedication of Ifeoma Ezeobele, Ph.D., R.N. with the Outstanding Nurse Award. The nurse from the Harris County Psychiatric Center (HCPC) has already been distinguished six times by the association for her efforts focused both on treating patients and supporting her staff and students.
Ezeobele has been awarded for her work, which is focused on treating patients, mentoring and research. She has been researching the perception of patients in seclusion and demonstrated that it was seen as a punitive intervention. Her discovery led to suggesting a decrease in the use of seclusion at HCPC. The results of the research were presented at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
“I am not here for me. I am here to serve others and that begins with how I treat my patients and mentor our staff and students,” said Ezeobele in an article from Inside UTHealth. “The award means a lot to me because it solidifies the philosophy I learned from my dad. I also use that philosophy with my students and those I work with. We are focused on doing everything right and that begins with being patient focused. We are here for the patients.”
The nurse also supervised in 2011 a practice exchange program with students from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands. The program, which lasts five years, is meant to train the students in advanced nursing regardless cultural customs. According to Ezeobele, the program brings several benefits to the reinforcement of solutions and medical conditions despite the national borders.
“There is so much (research) I want to do,” she added. “My next adventure is to volunteer with the World Health Organization. I want to volunteer in a global community especially in developing countries. When you look at the news and see all of the community health issues, the people do not know how to deal with these health issues. I believe education is the key in battling these health issues.”
Christine Russell, RN, BSN, who is one of Ezeobele’s mentees also said that “I’ve only been a nurse for seven years and it takes a while to be a seasoned nurse. When you have access to a veteran nurse with a hands-on approach it gives you something to aspire to. The evidence speaks for itself. The amount of support she received at the event (TNA reception) included guests from San Antonio, HCPC employees as well as nurses from the Netherlands.”