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Stress-relief expert leaving legacy of comfort, strength

Known for his calming voice and unique role at Duke University Hospital, Jon Seskevich, RN, BSN, BA, CHTP, has dedicated his life to helping patients cope with the stress of illness. “In 1987, I began helping pain unit patients deal with the stress of weaning off of their pain medications,” said Seskevich. “And now, I see patients throughout the entire hospital that are struggling with stress. I help give them the confidence that they can cope with it.” Seskevich teaches a three-step relaxation technique to cope with stress. The technique involves soft-belly breathing, feeling the support of the bed or chair, and repeating a short, positive thought in the head. “Stress is physical, and it sends powerful chemicals that cause wear and tear on a person,” said Seskevich. “My techniques help lower their stress response and give their bodies more energy to do what it needs to do.” “When I first met Jon, I was in pain, and I was afraid about losing my leg,” said J. Ken Kuzenski, a clinical research specialist. “He arrived in my room like a calm, smiling angel, and in less than a half hour, he taught me some relaxation techniques that made managing my pain, fear and stress much easier.” Seskevich plans to retire in June, leaving an unforgettable legacy at DUH. I can’t imagine how many patients Jon has helped in 31 years,” said Kuzenski. “He deserves recognition and praise for making a huge number of patients feel much better and more in control of their suffering. He’s truly a Duke hero.”  
Article written by John McHenry and the Duke High Five Team.
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