Crawford said she was heavily influenced by her mother in her career choice.
Her mom was a nurse for about 25 years at Grady, the country’s fifth-largest public hospital and one of its busiest.
“Even before I was in nursing school, she actually helped me get jobs as nurses’ aides,” said Crawford, who has been married 29 years and has two children. “My mom had a big influence on me.”
Crawford has spent her entire career at Grady and said her work with patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes plays to her two passions — nursing and teaching.
“I get a lot of patients who are newly diagnosed with diabetes in the hospital with really high blood sugar,” she said. “Most of them require insulin teaching, and we spend a lot of time on that because it’s really important that they get it right.”
Crawford may see up to 14 patients a day and establishes a connection with many of them, Vaughn said.
“Many still call her if they are experiencing a crisis after discharge or presenting again to the ED (emergency department) for care,” she said. “Every doctor and nurse on the floor can put their mind at ease when Rochanda is there to educate their patient.”
Before COVID-19, Crawford also helped diabetes patients in Grady’s outpatient clinic and spoke at area churches about the condition, its increased prevalence, and new medicines and technologies that can help.
The job stays fresh, she said, because “each patient is different” and has different needs and concerns.
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Meet the other award winners:
Vicky Hogue, Wellstar Paulding Hospital. Winner of the Nurse Leadership Award, sponsored by Mercer
Beth Dziczkowski, Northside Hospital Cherokee
Clayton Fowler, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
Danielle Giaritelli, Emory Healthcare
Jody Leonard, Southern Regional Medical Center
Kathleen LePain, Piedmont Healthcare Athens
Tasneem Malik, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Laura Moss, Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital
Laurie Pazda, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
Laura Toops, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta