When she was just 15 years old, Rose Yartz was hospitalized. During that time, she had a nurse who changed her life.
“She was just so intentional,” says Yartz, BSN, RN, now an infusion nurse at the Amherst Center location of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “I remember her attentiveness towards what I was saying. She acted on the feelings I had. She was very compassionate and very caring. She influenced my decision to go into nursing.”
During high school, Yartz volunteered at Millard Fillmore Hospital, talking with and observing other nurses and asking them how they decided on their career path. Each story made her more committed to pursue a career in nursing.
While in nursing school, Yartz had a clinical rotation at Roswell Park and, at the same time, her aunt was admitted to the intensive care unit before she passed away, allowing Yartz to see the care provided to patients from a family member’s perspective as well as a student’s perspective.
That experience confirmed the decision: “This is the only place I ever plan to work,” says Yartz, who has been named the Nurse of the Month for January. "I said this in 2018 and say it today with the same intent."
“I had been at other locations for clinical rotations throughout the rest of my nursing program and I knew I wanted to stay with Roswell once becoming a nurse. As a float nurse and float nurse’s aide (PCT), prior to chemo infusion where I am now, I learned many patient populations and am thankful for the wealth of knowledge I obtained, majority with surgical patients.
As an infusion nurse, Yartz sees the same patients on a regular basis as they come in for their chemotherapy treatments. As a floating nurse, she didn’t have the same opportunity to get to know a group of patients or to become a familiar, trusted face within a department, but she did get to know a lot of the nursing staff across the campus. Now she is building relationships with patients, understanding their treatment regimens and schedules. As a future nurse educator, Yartz feels that having surgical oncology and medical oncology experience will be useful and advantageous.
When she was a student nurse at Roswell Park, Yartz says Maegan Chmura, MSN, BSN, RN, CMSRN, Director of Patient Care Services, “sought me out to work here as an aide. Feeling like I was sought after made me feel like I wanted to work here; even as a student, my work was valued,” she says. “I did my best to help and even as a nursing student I was recognized for that.”
Yartz also is working on her master’s degree in nursing education through the State University of New York Empire State College while serving as adjunct faculty with the nursing program at D’Youville College. “I was clinical instructing last semester and this coming semester I’ll be coordinating nursing capstone students for their final clinical rotation, coordinating communication between the student and their clinical preceptor.” At the start of her career, when other students knew what kind of nurse they wanted to be, Yartz didn’t, until she was placed at Roswell. Since then, she has come to view educating new nurses and students as her calling and passion, which has also been affirmed by coworkers and patients.
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That appreciation extends to her infusion team at the Amherst Center. “Rose has been a wonderful addition to our Amherst team,” writes Rachel Silverman, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager of the center. “Rose has a joy and zest for learning and it shows in the care she provides our patients. She spends time to educate our patients and make them as comfortable as possible during their time in the infusion center. She goes above and beyond to create a positive atmosphere.” Silverman notes also that Yartz is part of several nursing committees and is a Magnet champion, working with nurses across Roswell Park to achieve Magnet recognition for nursing excellence.
“I was surprised,” Yartz says of being honored as the Nurse of the Month. “I walked in and my nurse manager, nursing staff, the Senior Vice President of Nursing, Chief Nursing Officer and Roswell Park’s Chief Executive Officer were waiting to award and congratulate me. It was really exciting and wonderful to be recognized and appreciated.”
Yartz would like to thank all of those that have worked alongside her these past three years. She admires Roswell Park staff for the teamwork and resilience that continues to be displayed. Yartz thanks them all for their compassion and hard work, and the positive influence you have had on her nursing career. She misses all who she used to see when she was a float nurse and hopes everyone had a great holiday season and is staying healthy.