Tiffiny Strever Leads by Example to Make a Difference in Patients’ Lives

Strever 400x300_8469Trauma Program Manager Tiffiny Strever ensures quality patient care through training, mentoring and advocacy

Tiffiny Strever started her nursing career as so many young nurses do, touching lives every day in ordinary and extraordinary ways: caring for patients bedside, comforting families in need, navigating emergencies, and quickly learning – after delivering a young mother’s baby in the bathroom – to always expect the unexpected.

Three decades later, Tiffiny is still making a difference in patients’ lives but with a much broader reach.
 
As a trauma program manager at Abrazo West Campus, Tiffiny plays a vital role ensuring quality patient care at the Level 1 Trauma Center. As a veteran in the field, she regularly mentors nurses through various stages of their careers. As an instructor, she teaches courses in emergency pediatric and trauma care. As an advocate, she works nationally to promote excellence in nursing care.

Yet even with these high-level responsibilities, Tiffiny also chooses to work bedside as needed, starting a routine intravenous drip or performing cardio pulmonary resuscitation.
 
“I can’t imagine not being a nurse. I love it today as much as I did 30 years ago when I entered the field,’’ she says.
 
Improving and enhancing patient care has driven Tiffiny throughout her career, starting with her work in a small town emergency department and continuing today with her role at a major metropolitan trauma center. 

In fact, Tiffiny was tapped to help guide Abrazo West’s transition from community hospital into the only state-certified Level 1 Trauma Center serving the west Valley. Drawing on more than two decades working in trauma centers, Tiffiny built a new trauma program from the ground up.
 
Tiffiny worked with physicians, nurses and ancillary staff to ensure a seamless transition, organized lectures and hands-on skills training, and implemented an intensive drill simulation dubbed “Black Ops.”  The “Black Ops” plan called for 70 high fidelity drills over 17 days, immersing staff in virtually all aspects of real life trauma operations.

When the first real patient came through the doors, the team functioned like an experienced, seasoned trauma team, says Kerri Jenkins, Abrazo West’s Chief Nursing Officer.

“Tiffiny consistently exemplifies the highest level of quality, not only in her personal clinical practice but also in setting the standards of excellence for our trauma program,” Kerri says. “She not only developed all of the policies for the trauma program and the training program, but she has also developed a process to assure continuous refresher training of key skills and a rigorous quality assurance to maintain staff proficiency.” 

Tiffiny’s dedication to trauma care extends beyond the hospital campus. She serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Arizona Air National Guard, overseeing training for medics and nurses. In 2013, she was named the 161st Air National Guard Truman Young Officer of the Year. 

Tiffiny has also received accolades for her work advocating for the nursing profession. In 2014, she was named a fellow of the Academy of Emergency Nursing. She was recognized for her contributions as an emergency pediatric and trauma instructor as well as her leadership roles with the Emergency Nurses Association.

In 2015, Tiffiny was again recognized for her work, this time as the March of Dimes Distinguished Nurse of the Year. She was lauded for giving back to the profession in diverse ways, serving as a role model for current and future nurses.  

The award hits close to home, as Tiffiny’s daughter is following her into the nursing field. For all Tiffiny’s accomplishments, she sees this as her greatest.

Whether bedside with one patient or leading emergency drills for 100 nurses, Tiffiny is not only touching lives but raising the bar for her profession.

“Tiffiny leads by example and models her personal values of excellence and service,” Kerri says. “She never asks staff to do anything that she does not do herself. She is always the first team member to respond and the last to leave for trauma team activations.”

Reflecting on her long career, Tiffiny says she never imagined that she would take on a leadership position as trauma program manager for a Level 1 Trauma Center. She is grateful for the opportunity and mindful of the importance to lead by example.

 “A leader needs to be visible, open-minded, take the blame when things fail, and divert the praise to the staff when things go right,” Tiffiny says. “If a leader does that, leads by example and gets her hands dirty, the staff will follow anywhere and that can only lead to the best care for our patients.”