Debbie Anderson

Debbie Anderson

Debbie Anderson, RN, MS, BSN

Respiratory Medicine Unit
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
Park Ridge, Illinois
United States
If it was not for Debbie’s assessment and her persistence to have me see the patient, this patient would likely have faced some serious health problems and ongoing pain.

I wanted to share with you an amazing catch by one of your nurses, Debbie Anderson - as she made a real difference in the care of this patient.

Debbie called me one morning and explained she was caring for a patient with a history of breast cancer/implant placement years ago. The patient was having a problem with pain in that breast as well as a wound that was originally traumatic in origin but had failed to heal/concern for recurrence of cancer. Work up was negative, and the patient was most likely going to be discharged home that day. Debbie relayed that the PCP had removed a scab from the involved area, but the involved area was now very unusual looking and she was concerned. Debbie was also concerned that the oncologist had not seen the area following the removal of the scab, and had been documenting healing of the site although slow due to perfusion/lymphatic flow issues. I advised Debbie to talk to PCP and ask for an RN wound care consult order, which she quickly did and called me back - again worried that the patient might be discharged before I was able to see the patient.

Debbie’s radar was “spot on” - the open area was exposing the implant and the patient was high risk for sepsis as well as puncture of implant, etc. I was able to contact the oncologist, who reached out to PRS asking them to see the patient that day. PRS explained the urgency for intervention to the patient and the patient will be going to OR tomorrow. I feel strongly that if it was not for Debbie’s assessment and her persistence to have me see the patient, this patient would likely have faced some serious health problems and ongoing pain. This patient is a very vibrant 80-something-year-old, independent person and still very much enjoying life. This could all have changed easily without Debbie’s care.

It is also very rewarding to work as a “team” like this with nursing, caring for our patients. Please share my sincere thanks with Debbie - she did an outstanding job!