Nurse Carol Kiehl left an indelible stamp on Hospice Austin. She was a force of nature, a whirlwind of energy and caring. She worked for Hospice Austin for over 10 years, caring for countless patients and mentoring countless staff. We lost her to cancer early this year.
Part of Carol’s excellence as a nurse stemmed from her love of learning. She was a firm believer in remaining teachable, both for herself and for others. Nurses new to Hospice Austin would shadow Carol for days, riding along with her on her calls.
Below is a tribute by nurse Nicole Crean, “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Carol Kiehl.”
1. Always carry a cooler bag. Because once you’re on a roll, there’s no stopping for lunch.
2. Wear comfortable shoes – always.
3. Remain teachable. No matter how much you know, there’s a lot more you don’t.
4. Be a loyal and faithful friend.
5. Be honest. When possible, be tactful too, but not at the expense of honesty.
6. Smile. A lot.
7. Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission…
8. Always do the right thing.
9. Stand up for the vulnerable, speak out for the voiceless.
10. Enjoy an authentic relationship with your creator.
11. Seek adventure.
12. Cherish your family.
13. Be present, be compassionate, be excellent – not out of a sense of duty, but out of love. Remember, each opportunity to offer care and share someone’s life is an incredible gift.
14. Never stop learning. See the world, learn to quilt, scrapbook like you mean it!
15. Never miss a chance to tell someone you love them.
Her husband, Mike, wanted to create a lasting legacy in honor of Carol. With his generous donation, the Carol Kiehl Learning Lab was born. At one end of the room is a flat screen monitor, tables and chairs; the other end contains a hospital bed and mannequin for clinical training. A picture of Carol hangs on the wall.
It feels good to walk into that room. Carol’s creed was “Never stop learning.” The Carol Kiehl Learning Lab ensures that Hospice Austin will never stop learning. I think Carol would be pleased.
Hospice Austin Executive Director