Katherine Harris, RNDirector of Nursing
Katherine Harris, RN, is Director of Nursing at Bluff. A registered nurse with over 35 years of experience, Katherine manages the clinical staff and oversees day-to-day patient care. Her roles include administering medication, helping patients manage withdrawal symptoms, providing education about substance abuse and mental health, and supporting families and patients as they work on their recovery.
Katherine’s experience ranges from working as an operating room nurse at the Medical College of Georgia, a teaching hospital now affiliated with Bluff, to serving as a nurse for both residential and outpatient hospice. As a hospice nurse and therapist, she provided end-of-life care and support for patients and their families, helping meet their medical, psychosocial and spiritual needs related to quality of life, pain management, and coping with fear, anxiety and grief.
Wanting to gain experience in all aspects of management, in 2011, Katherine became a nurse manager at an ambulatory surgery center. With a focus on quality improvement, she managed the clinical staff, ensured the facility and staff met all regulatory and certification requirements, and implemented policies and procedures to improve performance, efficiency and patient and clinician safety.
Yet she remained drawn to hospice, and to being there for patients and their families most in need of kindness and compassion. She became director of hospice services at United Hospice of Augusta, where she oversaw all clinical services and quality improvement initiatives, and continued to work closely with physicians, patients and their loved ones.
In hospice, she cared for many men and women in their 40s and 50s who were dying of cirrhosis and cancer due to alcoholism. She wanted to intervene in their lives before their health had deteriorated to the point where they could not be cured.
Katherine joined Bluff in 2014. After many years of working with patients at the end of life, Katherine welcomed the opportunity to help patients get a second chance at life. In addition to medical and addiction issues, patients struggling with substance abuse also often struggle with fear, anxiety, grief and other psychosocial challenges – issues she has decades of experience helping patients manage.