I was recently involved with a patient who was being discharged and not happy about it, even though there was nothing more that we could do for him at the hospital. The patient needed to be set up with home oxygen but because he was so angry with the discharging physician, he was threatening to just walk out the door and catch the train home. Because his oxygen saturation was so low, this would have been very dangerous for him. His nurse was Carmen. She and I spent a great deal of time trying to convince him to stay and wait for the oxygen and a ride home. Finally, she said to him with a great deal of respect- “You know, sometimes you just have to put certain things aside and concentrate on what’s the most important, your health”. It’s a phrase that I’m sure I will be repeating to my patients as they put all sorts of issues before their health concerns. I could see the wheels turning as the patient thought about this. He finally agreed to wait for the oxygen and a ride home. With just a simple phrase and a respectful caring manner Carmen was able to turn a potentially bad situation around to one that benefitted the patient. She understood what he was feeling but was able to turn his focus back to the most important issue. I believe the patient was able to feel her compassion and concern and that helped him to make the right decision.
In my years as a respiratory therapist working with Carmen I have known her to be an excellent RN. She is knowledgeable. She is an advocate for her patients. She gets to know them as people and the patients know that she will be there for them. In our team of health care professionals here at Kennedy, Carmen stands out as someone who I can count on to help me in my efforts with our COPD patients. Kennedy is lucky to have her.