Tampa nurse named 2017 Caregiver of the Year

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Bob with patient

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa is proud to announce that the Florida Hospital Association named Robert Robaus, RN, Caregiver of the Year.

Mr. Robaus has worked more than 17 years as a pediatric nurse for Shriners Hospitals for Children —Tampa. Before that, he worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. He is also the Tampa Shriners Hospital’s 2016 Nurse of the Year.

Winners were chosen based on the following criteria: demonstrating outstanding delivery of patient care and participation and leadership in hospital patient services, participating in activities and practices that help increase patient satisfaction, and commitment to the hospital and its community through participation in hospital patient care and community improvement efforts.

“I want to thank the Florida Hospital Association for this award. It means a great deal to me,” Mr. Robaus said during his acceptance speech at the awards dinner on October 20, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. Mr. Robaus said he was influenced to become a nurse by his grandfather, who at the time was receiving care for health issues.

“It goes without saying that being a nurse is a passion you get, said Mr. Robaus, whose original plan was to become a level 1 trauma nurse. Taking a job at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago touched his heart and inspired him to adjust his aspirations.

“As soon as I walked in the doors and cared for my first child, that was it,” he said.

The experience also inspired him to get involved with Shriners International, the fraternity that founded the now 22-hospital health care system, in 1922. “Throughout my time there, I have seen what Shriners do for the hospitals and have since become a Shriner myself, supporting the hospital from the fraternal side and as an employee,” he said.

Lovingly referred to by patients as “Nurse Bob,” Mr. Robaus is known for being skilled in communicating with children and calming their fears.

“He is a good listener and places great value on family participation,” said Charlene Penick, MS, RN, director of inpatient nursing for the Tampa Shriners Hospital. “There is no family or child who has been cared for who doesn’t want to come back and visit with him. They all come back looking for Nurse Bob.”

Patients and parents trust his clinical skills and he often serves as an instructor and mentor for staff. He was previously an inpatient clinical coordinator and now serves as house charge nurse. He is a member of the hospital’s medical emergency response team.

Mr. Robaus’ commitment to the organization extends far beyond the hospital. As a Shriner, he participates in numerous fundraisers and events for the hospital and Egypt Shriners.

Each year, Mr. Robaus works as a counselor and organizer at Camp Care-A-Lot, which provides a sleepaway camp experience for patients who otherwise would never have one and helps them discover abilities they didn’t know they had. Videos and photos of the happy campers tell the whole story. Whether it is delivering clinical excellence, mentoring colleagues or just making people smile, Mr. Robaus lives the hospital’s mission.

Nurse Bob with a patient Bob and Camp Care A Lot kids