Kristen Aubuchon

Kristen Aubuchon, RN

University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, Colorado
United States

I wanted to let you know about 2 extraordinary acts of compassion and caring recently displayed by Kristin. Approx 2 weeks ago Kristin was caring for a 24 year old male with PNA (pneumonia). The pt had suffered a TB (traumatic brain injury) 3 years ago in an MVA and was left completely debilitated. He was badly contracted, had a feeding tube and communicated with simple verbalizations. His parents/family had been his sole caregivers since his accident and they were reluctant to trust anyone else with his care. While he was a pt on our unit his younger sister (age 20) suffered a very serious asthma attack and died at Aurora South. Needless to say these parents were devastated and torn between continuing to oversee the care of their son while grieving and making arrangements for their daughter.

Kristin was able to assure them that the care of their son was her highest priority and they were finally able to leave his side. She made frequent calls to the parents to ease their concerns and clarify the needs of their son. Many of us were in tears hearing of the plight of this family and seeing how much they trusted Kristin to care for their child.

Kristin's other pt was an older lady with end stage pulmonary disease. The pt's daughter had come to the unit to meet with the attending and her mother to discuss the terminal state of her illness and begin EOL plans. The pt's 4 year old granddaughter had accompanied her mother to the unit and Kristin did not feel it was in the child's best interest to hear this discussion at this time. Kristin won the trust of the mother and child and occupied the little girl while the family/MD meeting took place. Kristin took the child down to the lobby to hear the piano and also to the gift shop for a little tour. The little girl was all smiles.

Kristin was late leaving the unit that evening (she had a lot of charting to catch up on). It was remarkable to see how much both of these families appreciated her caring and concern for their personal situations.

On the heels of Nurses' Week and Nightingales, what a pleasure it is to acknowledge a colleague such as Kristin. This is not the first time she has role-modeled such extraordinary client service. I hope you will join me extending Kristin this well-deserved recognition.