Althea "Thea" Decipulo

Althea Decipulo

Althea "Thea" Decipulo, BSN, RN

Pediatric Radiology Sedation and Infusion Unit
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
Norfolk, Virginia
United States
There stood Thea, in the CT scanner, gowned in a lead apron, holding the hand of this terrified little boy.

Thea has raised the bar in care and compassion.  Daily, she shows personal interest in all of her patients and inspires all around her to do the same.  Her positive attitude is infectious and her sense of humor cannot be matched.  She is a true gem to work with. 

I observed her care one evening in which she impressed me even more.  There was a request for someone from the RSIU to assist in ultrasound with labs and a PIV.  Thea’s shift ended at 1600.  I was scheduled to stay later.  Thea rushed over to assist and upon arriving was informed that the child was newly diagnosed with a serious illness.  The news had just been delivered to the single parent.  Needless to say, this was an extremely emotional situation.  Thea held the child’s hand and comforted him through the placement of the IV.  She called CT to transport the child for the next step of the diagnosis.  The physician requested that the study be completed with sedation, however, there was no available MD to do the sedation at that time.  Thea advocated for the patient and convinced the MD to attempt the CT without sedation so that the definitive diagnosis could be reached in a more timely manner.  It was well after 1700 and there stood Thea, in the CT scanner, gowned in a lead apron, holding the hand of this terrified little boy.  He got through it, to the MD’s amazement, only with the loving encouragement from Thea.  It brought tears to my eyes as I observed the gratitude in the mother’s facial expressions.  It was nearly 1800 when Thea clocked out that evening, but her only concern was making sure that family had what they needed.  She even searched the hospital to find other family members who were wandering on the 2nd floor trying to find the admitting department.

There simply is not enough paper for me to do justice to the kind of nurse that Thea is, but I feel so very proud to work by her side day after day.  The Interim Manager and Education Coordinator of the unit, adds that, “Althea has been part of the Sedation Unit for ten years.  She is caring and compassionate with patients and families. She possesses excellent clinical skills and in her role as charge nurse, she keeps families, modalities and staff informed of changes or delays which may impact patient flow.  She is a morale booster and is well liked and respected by her peers.”