I currently work as one of the clinical observers. I arrived on shift one afternoon last December and had the privilege of partnering with Liz Tedozashrili, RN, to care for a patient who was causing quite the disturbance on 3 East. When I arrived, there were two uniformed and two plainclothes security officers, one of whom was the director of the department. A nurse manager, a physician and at least three other hospital staff members were dealing with this one male patient. Needless to say, he was a handful. In addition to some physical health concerns, the patient appeared to be in a state of mental health crisis. He was extremely belligerent and uncooperative.
Liz did an outstanding job caring for this patient. I observed several people ask Liz various questions about the patient and without fail, she gave each one a detailed briefing on every issue concerning him and the plan moving forward. She was very thorough and spoke so fluidly that it seemed as if she was reading from a paper, which she wasn’t. The scene was very loud and chaotic; however, Liz remained calm and focused. This was her demeanor the entire time I was there – seven hours – despite being threatened, spoken to harshly and called names. Sometimes these types of patients are antagonized unintentionally, which causes an escalation of undesirable behavior through transference. Liz’s demeanor reinforced positive transference the whole time. She had to spend the entire shift with the one patient.
I saw several of her peers thank her for dealing with this individual, including the nurse who was originally assigned to him – this wasn’t even Liz’s patient initially! She offered to care for him, being that she had previous experience. She didn’t display any fear and never displayed frustration. What made her actions even more distinguished is that she endured all of this while dealing with a personal loss. She taught me a lot that night through my observations of her and as she explained to me interesting details of the mental health spectrum.
Everyone was lucky to have Liz as part of the health care team that night and several people realized it. She has impeccable communication skills, limitless compassion, and tremendous fortitude. Liz deserves to be recognized for her efforts and dedication to Meritus Medical Center and its patient population.