Debbie Sheikholeslami

Debbie Sheikholeslami

Debbie Sheikholeslami, BSN, RN, OCN

Medical Surgical Services Nursing Unit
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa
United States
If it weren't for Debbie's immediate attention, persistence, knowledge, and advocation on behalf of her very sick patient, he would not have been transferred to a higher level of care.

Debbie is a nurse who truly displays extraordinary compassion and specialized clinical knowledge. Debbie is an outstanding patient advocate and role model for our staff, patients, and families.

During the bedside report, Debbie noticed something was "not right" with her patient. She acted on this intuition and began her focused, thorough assessment right away. Debbie had taken care of this patient the day beforehand and on this morning, he did not seem himself. Debbie immediately noted he had no left-sided lung sounds. This patient has had a significant amount of chest tubes placed, removed, placed, and removed yet again, most recently days before this morning. The patient had poor circulation, so it was hard to get an oxygen saturation, but the nursing assistant was able to get a brief reading of 76% and reported this to Debbie. Debbie then called a rapid response as he was very short of breath, working very hard to breathe, unable to get an accurate oxygenation level, he had no left-sided lung sounds, and he had developed a new cough which she knew can be a sign that his left lung had collapsed again.

If it weren't for Debbie's immediate attention, persistence, knowledge, and advocation on behalf of her very sick patient, he would not have been transferred to a higher level of care, as he needed a higher level of attention and medical intervention. Not only did she advocate and save this patient from having an emergent event happen, but she also displayed such compassion while caring for him not only on this very morning but days prior. He was admitted for 48 days and the day before this event, the patient told Debbie she was the "first person to be so gentle with him" and thanked her for "being so mindful of his pain" while caring for him as he had so much pain in his legs, feet, and hands due to his very poor circulation in combination with his cancer medication making his extremities extremely cool, hypersensitive and painful.

Debbie's strong oncology knowledge helped her to fully understand the pain he was having in relation to his cancer, so she knew to be extra cautious and knew exactly how to care for his cold hands, feet, and legs. She advocated relentlessly for his comfort and to act on his acute clinical issues to the physician days prior to this morning. Debbie's compassion and knowledgeable expertise were very clearly demonstrated for this patient. Her patient greatly benefited from her compassion, kindness, tender care, and her knowledge in the last days of his life.