Rosie Awori (LJI)
Inevitably, 32 years as a neonatal ICU nurse will change something in you. It’s only natural, being in an environment for an extended time where the miracle of life plays itself out almost on a daily basis.
For Montrealer Bev Benskin it’s a life-altering experience.
“ I love that I can make a difference. To be able to walk with the parent as they journey through the emotional turmoil of having a critically ill child,” is how she sees it. “Also I love the fact that I can work with a one-pound baby and with proper care and nurturing that baby grows and develops into a healthy child.”
But the experience has also exposed her to the excruciating grief felt by parents losing their new born, and lead her become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor.
“I want people to grieve in a healthy way… to grieve well,” she says.
Her capacity to contribute towards the healing and comfort of those in her care has earned Bev the Nursing Excellence Award 2022 by D Magazine, a prestigious publication that covers the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas.
And according to her boss Barbara Petrey at Baylor Scott & White Health where Bev has been working for the past two decades, the recognition of this life-long caregiver is well deserved.
“In addition to providing expert neonatal care, she has the ability to touch and assist families as they deal with the emotional turmoil of their infant being in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or the loss of their baby. During her career, as she watched numerous families deal with enormous stress and grief, she felt the need to do more. Her many experiences led to her passion for helping families deal with trauma, grief and loss.”
As well, Ms. Petrey offered a laundry list of contributions including:
• being instrumental in the development of a Palliative Care Committee
• being a frequent contributor to the system Daylight Devotion, inspiration pieces sent to staff for every day.
• using her social media outlets to encourage and coach others.
• teaching classes on providing compassionate care especially when it comes to dealing with end of life care for neonates.
For her contributions Bev has been honored one of the first recipients of the Daisy Award at the hospital which a recognition of the “super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.”
For friends and relatives here in Montreal as well as the legion of readers who enjoy her columns in the pages of Community CONTACT, Bev’s achievements and contributions are hardly a surprise, given her extraordinary capacity to use words to inspire and uplift.
She still sees herself as a LaSalle girl. She attended Dawson College before migrating to Florida to embark on her nursing career, then on to Colorado, Virginia and Texas completing her Master’s degree in Counselling along the way.
Bev is full of grace as she accepts the excellence award:
“ I’m so grateful that my peers thought I was worthy of such an honor and so glad that I am making a difference in this world. We can all make a difference.”