by Mike Lee
An afternoon of pampering in a cozy spa nestled in a picturesque mountain meadow on Upper Bear Creek.
That’s how Toccara Young, MA, rang in the new year after winning Denver Nursing Star’s Nurse Recognition contest.
The nursing student and Children’s Hospital clinical/medical assistant was selected from a pool of entries to receive the extra special day of pampering.
"I was too surprised. I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award so it was a big surprise," said Young, who has spent the last three years at Children’s.
After the initial shock, the mother of three was treated to award-winning treatments at Tallgrass Aveda Spa and Salon, a facility that Oprah Winfrey’s magazine "O" lists as one of its favorites across the country.
Young was surprised at the award, but co-workers say that’s just her style.
"She is an exemplary employee and person," wrote Kathy McGowan, RN, in her nomination of Young. "She never has a negative word to say. She is friendly to everyone. She gives excellent care. She is patient with the MA interns and is an extremely hard worker."
Young said she was drawn to the medical field and once in it quickly came to a realization.
"When I got into the medical field I saw that there was a greater need. From where I was at I just wasn’t enough. I wanted to take it further and to help in a different way," Young said.
That’s when she decided to begin her BSN program.
Before becoming a medical assistant, Young did her externship at Children’s Hospital. She fell in love almost immediately.
"I brought my children here and I always thought it was a great hospital," said Young, who has two girls and a boy.
Now just the thought of working as The Children’s Hospital gets Young all worked up.
"It’s too exciting. I’m really ready and really excited about being able to help patients from another standpoint. I’m very excited, I can’t wait," said Young who graduates in May 2010. "Nursing school is going great."
The Children’s Hospital main campus is the cornerstone of the growing network of pediatric health-care services.
Located on 48 acres at the juncture of I-225 and Colfax in Aurora, Colorado, the hospital sits at the eastern edge of the Denver metro area.
The campus includes the hospital, Administrative Pavilion and Outpatient Pavilion.
Young lives in Denver and makes the 15-minute commute on a regular basis
The Gary Pavilion of The Children’s Hospital houses an inpatient child and adolescent psychiatry program, as well as The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Additionally, The Children’s Hospital Dental Center is on the campus.
The campus is also adjacent to The University of Colorado Hospital and School of Medicine.
The University is home to world-class education and research facilities and doctors from the prestigious department of pediatrics.
Young counts Children’s Hospital and her children has her greatest motivators during nursing school. Her children went through the adjustment of seeing less of mom but now are firmly behind her.
"I’ll still be at Children’s. I’ll still be on the float team and eventually be in the emergency department," she said of her post-graduation plans. "I like the flexibility and I like definitely seeing the different patients and being able to help in more than one way."
Once she graduates, Young has her sights set on trauma care and special needs care at the hospital.
But this January she started the new year right in Upper Bear Creek.
About a 45-minute drive from downtown Denver, the spa offers a complete menu of massages, facials, body treatments, hair and nail care services, boutique shopping and catered meals, along with the private Sage Room Suite for couples’ massages, meetings and social events.
To book a treatment at Tallgrass you can call 303-670-4444 or visit them on the Web at www.tallgrassspa.com