Crystal’s clinical skill and especially her compassionate care exemplify the kind of nurse that our patients, their families, and our staff recognize as an outstanding role model.
Crystal DeMoss works as an Associate Nurse Manager in Extended Care on 49-2. Recently, she encountered a patient situation involving a malfunctioning device. A few weeks prior to this situation Crystal attended a training with the nurse educators in PICC line/Central Line management with a focus on advanced nursing skills, assessment, and interventions. Crystal’s experience with this training prompted her to recognize a malfunction and to contact the provider for further guidance. In Crystal’s conversation with the provider, there were discrepancies on the correct direction to go. There were multiple thoughts on how to proceed. Crystal continued to advocate for the most evidence-based practice and worked together with the provider to implement a protocol to further evaluation of the malfunction. The steps of the protocol took longer than she expected they would, yet she didn’t rush the process or put the patient at risk during the wait. With her diligence, up to date knowledge and dedication, Crystal was able to successfully administer a high-risk medication to the Veteran to decrease the risk of central line complications.
Part of the nursing protocol involved staying with the patient, continuing her assessment, and documenting the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the interventions she was performing. Crystal’s dedication to this Veteran brought her to stay after her tour of duty to see the protocol through. Her conversation with providers and advocacy for her patient to partner in his care enabled her to regain function to the vascular access device. Crystal’s advocacy eliminated a hospital transfer, surgical procedure, and Veteran harm. Crystal’s astute attention to detail, her passion to operate under the most evidence-based practice, her diligence to continue advocating for the patient, and implementation of the best plan of care improved the Veteran’s experience and prevented harm. I was with Crystal during the procedure and watched as she walked the Veteran through what was going to happen step by step, all the while maintaining dignity, respect, and privacy. She followed the protocol appropriately and demonstrated her nursing knowledge while executing the skill. If it wasn’t for Crystal’s willingness to invest in herself, the Veteran experience may have been difficult. Crystal’s willingness to share her knowledge of evidence-based practice bridged the relationship between the patient, nursing staff, and provider staff, thus delivering the right care to the right patient at the right time.