Member Spotlight: Ana Liza Cook
Welcome to the WOCN Society Member Spotlight blog, featuring the inspiring stories behind our members. This month, we’re spotlighting Ana Liza Cook—a first-year member of the WOCN Society.
About Ana Liza Cook
Ana Liza Cook, BSN, RN-BC, WTA-C, joined the WOCN Society in 2021, but her interest in wound, ostomy, and continence care culminated early in her career. Upon starting a residency program as a medical surgical nurse, she was introduced to the hospital’s Skin and Wound Assessment Team (SWAT). Ana quickly learned this team’s significant impact on patient care and signed up to join them. Today, Ana is a certified WTA, functioning as a WOC care resource for the entire hospital, where she was recently named Employee of the Year and nominated as one of Houston’s Top 150 Nurses for 2020.
Joining the WOCN Societyy
Ana learned about the WOCN Society from her hospital’s wound care nurse. She signed up as a member in 2021 when she learned about our scholarship opportunities and educational resources. Ana commented on her experience, stating, “Being a member of the WOCN Society gives me knowledge and experience, and it’s rewarding to be part of a community of experts who are not only willing to help me succeed in my profession but also allow me to help those who have chosen the same path.”
WOCN Program Scholarshipy
Ana received a scholarship from the WOCN Society that enabled her to enroll in the WOC Nursing Education Program at Emory University. “As a student, I’ve been exposed to tremendous resources in terms of written materials and mentors within and outside my facility. The scholarship has relieved me of the financial burden of getting an education so I can focus more on my studies.”
Meaningful WOC Moments
At the height of the pandemic and after her hospital’s wound, ostomy, and care nurse resigned, Ana was asked to assume the role of WOC Nurse for the entire hospital. “To the best of my ability, I handled rounds for all the facility’s referrals. I helped bedside nurses assess pressure injuries and implement preventive measures; I educated nurses, patients, and families about WOC care; and I made referrals to doctors for appropriate medical care. As a result, I was selected as the Employee of the Year and nominated as one of Houston’s Top 150 Nurses for 2020. I was incredibly proud!”
Favorite Patient Moments
Ana remembers a patient who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She had a colon resection and ended up with a colostomy. She was young and sweet but highly anxious. Ana took care of her for three nights, taking every opportunity to teach her about ostomy care. When the patient doubted her ability to take care of the ostomy, Ana assured her that she would learn. She told the patient that while she could consider Ana her helper, “the person who can provide optimum help is none other than yourself.”
The patient returned to the hospital after being discharged due to cellulitis around the stoma. The patient requested to see Ana, saying, “I’m sorry, Ms. Ana. I know you’re disappointed to see me. But for some reason, I’m comfortable when you’re around because you understand me.”
This experience taught Ana that “empathy and patience are the most important virtues of a nurse, and mutual trust is at the core of any nurse-patient relationship. I need to establish trust in my patients before they can allow me to get involved in their lives.”
Another story that stands out to Ana is about a patient who was admitted and intubated for acute respiratory distress. Upon stabilizing, the patient was transferred to Ana’s unit, where she helped him understand how he ended up in the hospital. She reviewed all the doctor’s notes, laboratory, and diagnostic test results and updated him on the care plan. He was so grateful to realize he was given a second chance in life. He expressed his appreciation by drawing portraits of Ana in her scrubs. The pictures were hung up in the hospitals’ hallway for months.
A Little Look Into Her Life
As an immigrant from the Philippines, Ana enjoys traveling to different states in the U.S. and exploring nature and its wildlife. Her dream was always to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, which became the first vacation with her husband and kids. While Ana and her family have traveled to quite a few states, she still has many places on her bucket list to visit.
Ana is also a poet, writing about anything under the sun in English or her native language, Tagalog. Poetry keeps Ana’s sanity when her world becomes overwhelming. When her grandmother passed, Ana paid her respects in a poem celebrating her life, and did the same for her late dog, Max.
When she’s not traveling or writing, Ana reads memoirs, gardens, and relaxes in her backyard amidst a fishpond and small fountain built by her husband.
Vision for the Future
Ana plans to pursue a master’s degree after completing her studies at Emory. In the next five years, she hopes to be a nurse educator in medical-surgical nursing and WOC care, helping to fill an increasing educational need for both new and experienced nurses on evidence-based WOC care.
Thank You, Ana Liza Cook
On behalf of the WOCN Society, thank you, Ana, for being a valuable member of the WOCN Society and for the clinical skill, education, empathy, and trust you bring to the profession of WOC care.
Want to Nominate a Member?
The WOCN Society’s Member Spotlight Program is a monthly initiative to honor our incredible members. With 5,000+ members dedicated to improving patient outcomes every single day, we have important stories to tell. Submit yourself or a member today!