Employee of the Month - May 2014

vsmoke smVeronica R. Smoke Chosen as OB/GYN’s First Employee of the Month

Veronica R. Smoke has been chosen as the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s first Employee of the Month!

A 27-year employee of UAB, Smoke is a Nurse Clinician in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinic on the 10th floor of the Women & Infants Center. It is a job that is dear to her because of her patients. “I like working with the high-risk OB patients because they need hope that they can have a healthy pregnancy outcome,” she says. Smoke likes the miracle aspect of it. Her goal is to help women appreciate each milestone, both big and small.  

Having worked in Labor & Delivery for nine and a half years and Maternal-Fetal Medicine for the past 17 years, Smoke has embraced the concept of advocacy for patients and team-player as she performs her daily duties. Smoke says she can’t imagine working anywhere else. At such a delicate time in their lives, Smoke feels her patients need someone sensitive and responsive to their needs. Her dedication is a characteristic that is noticed by all who work with her.

“Veronica is a professional, dedicated nurse who embraces our core values and expects no less of her peers,” says Gail Williams, Director of Clinical Operations, Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “She loves her patients, is compassionate, caring and is an advocate for their needs and professional care.” Smoke assures her patients that they are of utmost importance, making sure that she is an available resource even after their appointments. Smoke says, “I give patients all of my contact information. I even spoke every day to one patient who was scared of losing her baby.” Williams adds, Smoke “has the innate ability in interactions with her high-risk obstetric patients to calm/sooth and provide the needed response to their concerns and questions.”

However, Smoke realizes that providing a pleasant clinic experience is not done alone. She knows that it takes team effort, and she encourages positive teambuilding on a daily basis. “I enjoy the team approach to working,” Smoke says. “I’m never too big to work all areas – lab, front desk. It’s infectious.” Her exemplary, caring nature has served patients and co-workers alike during her tenure at UAB. Co-worker Patricia Thienpont says, “She’s [Smoke] fair and honest. She’s good to her patients and good to her co-workers.”

Smoke was simply delighted to be chosen as Employee of the Month. She believes that through positive motivation, she can influence “improved quality of care by making every patient feel like she is getting the care she deserves.” Additionally, she hopes to motivate staff and buy-in regarding “Do Right,” challenging the staff to ask, “If it were me or my family what would I expect?” Smoke says, “I look forward to being a part of the anticipated growth in our division and feel that I have something valuable to contribute, looking at healthcare from all aspects: patient, family member and provider.”

Smoke is married to Eric Smoke (23 years) and is the proud mother of Christian (20), Morgan (17) and Kendall (13) – the “joys” of her life. She enjoys scrapbooking and supporting her children in sports.

Article written by: Tongia Feagins
Picture taken by: Belinda Rials

If you would like to nominate an outstanding Department of OB/GYN employee for “OB/GYN Employee of the Month,” please contact Kevin Freeman at 934-2051 or kfreeman@uab.edu.