“I am here for you! You can count on me!” This seems to be Elizabeth Dang’s silent motto, her nominators noted, as she “always has a smile and shows genuine concern to anyone” who walks into the Ambulatory Care Services (ACS) department.
“Liz (her nickname) is a go-getter with lots of energy and cheerfulness that is so infectious,” they said. “She’s a trooper, always accommodating and always ready to help peers, patients, and this hospital – anything to make things better and go smoothly. She is not only a valuable team member; she is like family to everyone in Kuakini Medical Center.”
As a nurse in the ACS department, Elizabeth makes sure that patients receive the best care from the time of admission to their discharge from Kuakini. She involves patients and their families in the care plan by making them feel comfortable, “talking story,” and keeping everyone informed, her nominators said. She also interprets for Cantonese-speaking patients who cannot speak English.
“I keep the family informed because they are worried. Everybody is affected (when someone undergoes a procedure),” Elizabeth said. “It is very rewarding when I can help them, when I can ease their pain and their fears.”
Elizabeth, however, credits her performance as a nurse and her Employee of the Month recognition to people who have mentored and supported her.
“I’m honored and humbled, but I feel that it’s because of all the support from my mentors and my peers and everybody else that help me do my job. It’s a team effort.”
Elizabeth joined Kuakini in 1986 as a unit clerk while studying for an associate’s degree in nursing at the University of Hawaii. She was awarded her associate’s degree the following year and became a student nurse technician. She then worked as a registered nurse on Ewa 4 and eventually moved to the ACS department in 1991. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1989.
“Everybody here in Kuakini comes to help, not just (staff in) my department. On every floor, if there’s a problem, they come and help you,” she said. “That’s what I love about Kuakini – the people are here for you no matter what. Everybody takes care of each other. There’s a loving environment here that makes it great for me to come to work.”
Elizabeth spends her free time with her family. They often eat out and go on picnics or fishing trips. Right now, she said she is “sad but proud” that her two boys will be going to the mainland for college in a few months.