Kena Zimmer

Kena Zimmer

Kena Zimmer, RN

Emergency Department
St. Louis Children's Hospital
St. Louis, Missouri
United States

During the height of possibly the busiest day that I have seen yet this year, wait times had exceeded 3 hrs. For the most part, things were running smoothly and people were understanding. One patient's mother, in particular, was very upset and wished to speak with the charge nurse. When Kena arrived to speak with the mother she was extremely polite, courteous, and most importantly, sympathetic to her complaint. She very calmly and very politely explained to her how we were doing everything from calling in extra staff to having doctors see patients in rooms that we don't usually utilize just to move the process along quicker. She also thoughtfully explained the process that we use (based on acuity, not first come first serve) and did explain to the mother that if there was a child that went back before her's, it was indeed because the child needed to.

After speaking with the patient's mother for approximately 2-3 minutes, the mother seemed to be satisfied with Kena's response. Kena also encouraged her to fill out a comment card because "It helps us to evaluate and improve our system when we learn from instances like this."

It is fantastic to see someone who was able to diffuse a situation and calm a worried parent so well and so gracefully under so much pressure from all the other chaos that was ensuing that day. Kena demonstrated the utmost of compassion, understanding and professionalism and it was subsequently reflected in the mother's attitude and demeanor after she had spoken with her.