Jeff Kopinski, RN
A passion to improve patient care is what drives Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) nurse Jeff Kopinski, RN, CCRN. Whether serving on nursing councils, conducting research or precepting new nurses, Kopinski is a team player who is committed to Children’s Hospital Central California patients.
“I want to be a ‘safe’ nurse,” Kopinski said. “I think the best way for me to do that is to have a heightened awareness of the issues so I can be a resource for other people.”
Kopinski’s approach works well with the Hospital’s participatory governance model for the practice of nursing. Nursing leaders and staff work together to make decisions regarding the delivery of patient care and Kopinski enjoys getting involved. He is a member of the PICU Practice Council, and serves as the PICU unit-based safety champion and the Hospital staff champion for National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 15, which is identifying individuals at risk for suicide. He is also a member of the Clinical Inquiry Research Taskforce, a crisis nurse, preceptor, pediatric advanced life support instructor, continuous renal replacement therapy nurse and cardiac nurse.
“He’s willing to step up to do what is asked,” said PICU Director Diane Civiello, RN, BSN, MS, CNA-BC. “He gives and gives and gives to create the kind of environment you would want in a PICU.”
As a member of the PICU practice council, Kopinski provides input on issues related to the best practices for the unit, including procedures, therapies and safety initiatives. The council overseas policy reviews and conducts research to determine the standard of care.
Kopinski supports a culture of safety in the PICU. The Joint Commission issues national patient safety goals each year and he facilitates their implementation in the PICU. Kopinski educates fellow nurses, audits charts and completes reports.
“I try to spread the knowledge to get more nurses involved and be a resource for other staff,” Kopinski said. “It has increased our unit’s awareness level of our goals.”
When Kopinski is the crisis nurse for a particular shift, he flashes back to his days as a paramedic. Instead of being assigned to a particular patient, he helps with new admissions to the unit, assists with critical patients and responds to code blue and rapid response team calls.
“You go to where the clinical hot spots are,” Kopinski said. “The physicians really depend on all the PICU nurses to be their eyes and ears, watching and keeping them advised of what is going on and anticipating any problems before they happen.“
Kopinski began his healthcare career as an emergency medical technician and later became a paramedic. After 13 years, he decided to go to nursing school and upon graduation, Children’s hired him as a RN I. He quickly climbed the clinical ladder in four years and is now a RN IV. Kopinski attributes his fast ascent to the educational opportunities offered at Children’s Hospital, the large number of experienced nurses in the PICU and his paramedic background.
“He’s a fabulous nurse who you would want to take care of your kid if they were sick,” Civiello said.
Kopinski is married, lives in Fresno and has one adult son. In his free time, he enjoys going to baseball games, camping and fishing. He and his wife volunteer with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.