They say that character is defined by what you do when no one is watching. Christy Abercrombie epitomizes this adage. In a world like the cath lab where turnover is the king and revenue generation can overshadow even the best intentions, Christy never sways from her primary mission, to provide compassionate care to each and every patient. One beautiful example follows:
It was the end of a VERY long and busy day and our last patient was one that two physicians were disagreeing about the necessity of the procedure. The staff was tired, hungry, and to a certain degree fearful based upon one of the physicians estimation that the procedure could actually worsen her condition. The patient was terribly kyphotic, anxious, and phobic of needles. We moved her to the table and tried to position her comfortably, essentially went about our business as usual. Christy entered the room and immediately went to the head of the bed to introduce herself. She noticed right off that the patient did not seem comfortable and set about rectifying the situation with additional supports and padding. Mind you the patient never complained, Christy was just in tune with the moment and provided what the rest of the team had overlooked in the business of prepping for her procedure. Christy stayed at the head of the bed talking to the patient and reassuring her throughout the procedure. She provided that gentle touch that made the procedure less fear inducing and more comfortable.
Christy does this same thing over and over for every patient, every day. She embodies the core values of being present with the patient in a way that is uniquely her own. I am proud to call her my colleague and feel she needs to be recognized for this very special quality.