Hailey was instrumental in meeting the needs of a mutual surgical patient in the beginning of February. This patient’s anxiety and agitation was overwhelming. He was so emotionally out of control he could barely speak. He was so compromised he would not, and could not, participate in any of necessary post-op interventions needed to keep him clinically stable and safe. No surprise, he developed a fever, his O2 requirements increased dramatically in 8 hours from 4L/NC to 12L.
In spite of an epidural, at maximum rate, a PCA and 2/3 of his long-time home dose of narcotic, plus IV Valium, he remained agitated, anxious, in pain, and in profound distress.
Watching Hailey that day was pure joy! As she began her shift that morning she embodied the description of an RN III for ANPAM: “Develops a flexible, innovative, and confident self-directed approach to patient and family care and operates from a deep understanding of the total situation.”
As the patient became more agitated, Hailey became calmer. Every time he voiced that he could not do something, she calmly, firmly, and assuredly helped him realize that he could. She didn’t argue, she didn’t lecture. She didn’t talk at him or over him. Instead, she encouraged, coached, advocated. She was in this experience with the patient, with a consummated goal of helping him get through it. She didn’t run from this assignment or try to get through as quickly as she could. Instead, she efficiently, quietly confidently did what she knew needed to be done.
She reminded him that more medication was not always the answer. She partnered with him and coached him to be his own advocate. She turned on the Guided Imagery via the television and shifted control back to the patient. She reframed for him his own intrinsic ability to relax and lessen his anxiousness.
He made an 180-degree turnaround that day. By the end of Hailey’s shift, he was calmer, his pain was better controlled. He was able to be an active participant in his care. He was taking deeper breaths, using his I.S., his temp decreased.
One would never imagine the patient I saw that morning, was the same one I saw that afternoon. Both the art and science of nursing, at its best, was demonstrated that day by Hailey. She was amazing!