Riley Nurse Lindsay Terry: 17 Years On Stem Cell Unit, 479 Transplants

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Her mission is to do anything she can to make the lives of her patients just a little bit better, a little easier. For Terry that meant being the first nurse at Riley to become a Bone Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse.

It’s tough to explain the bond Lindsay Terry feels with her patients --  just how close she gets with the children on the stem cell transplant unit at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

They are with her sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months. Terry, who has been on the unit 17 years, learns so much about them.

She knows what makes them sad and what makes them feel scared. She knows what makes them giggle and what brings them relief.

So, it only made sense to Terry to do anything she could to be a better nurse for her patients, to help make their lives just a little bit better, a little bit easier.

And what Terry did was a first for any nurse at Riley, which has done 479 transplants since Terry came on board in 2000. She became a Bone Marrow Transplant Certified Nurse.

“For me, this test lets families know that I am extremely knowledgeable and capable of providing care for their child,” says Terry. “I can recognize complications early on. I know side effects of the medicines I am giving their child. I can explain to them what is going to happen and I can answer any questions they may have when they ask me.”

IU Health has the only stem cell transplant program in the state and Riley is the only pediatric stem cell transplant program in Indiana. It is believed Terry is the first nurse in Indiana to earn this designation.

The certification encompasses all the chemotherapy received pre transplant, apheresis and radiation processes, types of transplants and complications that occur while a patient is waiting for their new transplant to engraft. It also covers complications that can occur after a patient is released from the hospital from side effects of the treatment they received.

“I love being a nurse on the stem cell unit,” Terry says. “It is both challenging and rewarding and no two days are ever the same.”

-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

   Reach Benbow via email or on Twitter @danabenbow.

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