Carmen Cohens

Carmen Cohens

Carmen Cohens, ASN, RN

Adult Infusion
UF Health - Shands
Gainesville, Florida
United States
The patient had to arrange for special transportation and comes here because of the wonderful care she receives for her lung disease. Carmen said she would stay late and finish the infusion.

A patient was here for Cytoxan/Mesna a chemotherapy agent that in this situation was to be infused for non-oncologic reason. Part of the process prior to administration is to obtain a urine sample to test for blood.  The results came back positive so the ordering provider needed to be contacted.  Unfortunately, the patient was referred from another clinic and it took over an hour to get a return call to proceed with treatment.  This is a 6-hour infusion that requires careful monitoring, extra hydration, Lasix, and Mesna to protect the bladder from harm.

 When we finally got the ok it was too late in the day to proceed with the treatment if the infusion was to be completed by closing time.  The normal process is that since this was not an emergent infusion to reschedule to a different day.  I (nurse Manager) told Carmen that I would talk with the patient and we will reschedule to a different day.  Carmen quickly told me that the patient drove from the Keys and will not be able to return any time soon.  She had to arrange for special transportation and comes here because of the wonderful care she receives for her lung disease. Carmen said she would stay late and finish the infusion.

This may seem like a simple thing to do, but the infusion nurses work 40 hours a week and are salary so they are not paid overtime.  Another nurse and provider also has to stay in order for the infusion to be safely administered.   The charge nurse, Tina, also felt it was best for the patient to have the infusion that day and agreed to stay. Tina took initiative and talked with the doctor in the medical oncology clinic, Dr. S, who is not the direct physician of the patient. He also agreed to stay until the infusion was completed.  The infusion was going to run until 1930 and they all willingly agreed that this is what should be done and what was be for the patient even though they would not be compensated for their extra time. Dinner was even offered to them, but they all declined because it is just what we do for this patient.

 To them this was not an extraordinary act of kindness, but to the patient, and to me it was.  I am proud to work for and manage such a wonderful group of humble nurses.