Today is my last day of fellowship. First of all, I wanted to thank you for a wonderful learning experience! I thoroughly enjoyed working with the excellent labor and delivery nurses of Forsyth Medical Center and would begin recruiting each and every one of them back to Hershey if I didn’t already know that they are such an important part of the outstanding work done here.
Second of all, I have meant to contact you about a particular encounter. This has been on my “to do” list for months and I sincerely apologize for taking so long.
I received sign-out on a laboring patient from the overnight anesthesia call team. I was told the patient was having severe pain. As you can imagine, I went directly to this patient after sign-out. She was in miserable shape, tearful, exhausted after laboring for almost 24 hours, and complaining of 10/10 pain with contractions. Laura Biggs, RN was receiving this patient at approximately the same time. As the two of us assessed and discussed this suboptimal situation, the patient’s OB team called her cesarean section for arrest of descent. Laura did an outstanding job in gently, but firmly reassuring this now hysterical patient. The multiple family members in the room were also calmed by Laura’s patient and experienced care. In this more receptive state, the patient and her husband were able to process my explanation of our anesthesia plan for her CD. This was especially important as the patient’s anesthesia was later complicated by a high spinal. She did not require intubation, but I would argue that we were able to coach/manage her through the temporary symptoms of dyspnea because she had been in a state prior to her CD where I could honestly explain the risks of neuraxial anesthesia after failed epidural. I attribute that opportunity to Laura’s earlier expert management of this anxious, uncomfortable patient and equally anxious family.
Laura went another step above and beyond in using her personal cell phone to take pictures of the delivery (the father, in the commotion of the transfer to the OR, had sent his phone with another family member) and forwarding them to the father afterward. This genuine act of kindness made a tremendous difference to the patient. Her demonstration of competence and compassion turned the entire experience around. I am personally grateful for what Laura accomplished that day. However, this incident is very consistent with the care Laura provides every day. I respect her judgment, I appreciate her communication and attention to patient care, and I enjoy working with her.