Adelina Avina, or Nina as we call her on 9 Gold, is truly an excellent and caring nurse. We are very fortunate to call her one of our own. Nina's compassion extends well beyond her patients to include their family members and her coworkers. I have never seen her turn down a request or say no to someone or say that she could not do something. She always finds a way to get things done, from the simplest requests to going above and beyond. Nina has only been a nurse for a year but in that time she has grown tremendously and is constantly seeking ways to learn and extend her knowledge base. Her confidence has also grown during her first year as a nurse and she recently was involved in an urgent, if not emergent, situation where she used her nursing judgment and that 'gut' feeling to be an advocate for her patient.
This story starts on June 1st. Nina was eating her lunch around 2:40 pm. She heard through the overhead page system that her patient had arrived back from the Cardiac Cath Lab. She had 2 choices: she could continue her 'uninterrupted' lunch break and let someone else help, or she could go assess her patient with the recovery nurse who was waiting on a two nurse assessment before he could leave the patient. Nina stopped eating and immediately went to the bedside to see her patient. The recovery room nurse was showing Nina the femoral incision site, which looked great but at that time Nina noticed something just wasn't right. The patient's leg looked pale, more pale than she remembered from earlier in the morning. She felt the extremity and it was cold to touch. The patient was complaining of pain and numbness to his leg. The recovery room nurse told Nina he was able to palpate distal pulses but when Nina tried to palpate them she felt nothing. She told the recovery nurse that and kept trying but she was still unable to feel anything, even with reassurance from the recovery nurse that pulses were present. Nina asked the nurse to wait in the room for just a moment while she went and got the Doppler machine, meanwhile she notified her charge nurse of the emerging situation. At bedside Nina attempted to find pulses with the Doppler machine but was unable to find any on the extremity after multiple attempts. She immediately notified the provider who came to bedside as well. The Cardiology Cath team was then notified of the absent pulses and decided quickly to take the patient for an emergent catheterization. You will be happy to know the patient's extremity, and likely his life, were saved by this seemingly small act and decision made by Nina to trust her 'gut' feeling. Nina stood up for her patient when she could have easily trusted what an experienced recovery nurse was telling her, against what she felt herself.
We are all presented with situations where we are faced with trusting someone with more experience than us, and standing up against that when we feel it is wrong, or even questioning it, takes a lot of courage. Nina said she did not have this courage at the beginning of her nursing career, it has been a learned attribute from her experiences at Parkland. She really felt in this situation something was wrong and she knew she had to stand up for what she believed and trust her gut feeling. This courage and compassion ultimately saved the patient's quality of life. Nina was able to respectfully question the experienced recovery nurse while maintaining integrity at the same time. Nina collaborated with her team members as well as the patient and was a steward of her patient's care. She involved her unit leaders in this situation and also lead the team in making this emergent discovery.
Nina was able to invoke Parkland's CIRCLES throughout this entire situation and does so on a daily basis. Nina is a true Parkland nurse and is very proud to be here, as we are proud to have her.