Erica Maddox, RN, shines very bright! I get scores of excellent feedback from patients describing their interactions and relationship with her. Erica is our device nurse. Her compassion, work ethic, and expertise are exactly what I want for our program and for what I would want if I was a patient with a cardiac device.
Last night I got a call from one of the hospital floors. We have a patient who had an ICD placed 2 weeks ago for VT. He was originally to see Erica today for wound care – staple removal, education, training of the patient and family and device interrogation. Well, that was the original plan. He was admitted to the hospital with difficulty swallowing. A CT scan lead to an EGD which revealed a large mass obstructing his esophagus. As you can imagine this was sudden, frightening and very hard for the patient and his family. The level of fear and uncertainty caused by going from having a life-threatening heart rhythm to getting an ICD, now to a newly discovered mass is hard to measure and appreciate.
The patient had to be urgently transferred to UVA last night. The patient and his family were very worried about missing their ICD appointment with Erica. (The first visit post implant is a major visit for both the patient and us.) I called Erica after 7 pm. She is taking classes working on her next degree. She left class without hesitation and met the family in the room and took care of his wound and device prior to him leaving for UVA. It may seem routine-a post implant wound and device check because she does it so many times a day and week. But, more than meeting the patient in his room she met him “where he was” emotionally. She offered the familiarity, care, and compassion they needed at that exact moment. The patient and his family were relieved. Their burdens were lightened at least for the moment.
This is an example of Erica. She shines. This is “Erica’s Way” and this can be Augusta’s Way. I am honored to have Erica as part of our EP team!!