I have had the opportunity to work with Laura for the past year. I’ve been a nurse for 28 years, 10 of those as an APP, and have not worked with a better nurse than Laura. She always makes a positive impression on the patients, families and the staff. She is knowledgeable when dealing with complex medical needs of the surgical oncology patients. Many of them have parenteral nutrition (TPN), enteral feedings (tube feedings), multiple drains (JPs and abscess drains that can sometimes number up to 4 or 5), wound vacs, and IV antibiotics that they somehow go home with because Laura gets it all arranged, usually before we ask! She meets our team in PACU at 7 a.m. every day to “run” the list so we are all on the same page to prepare patients for discharge. She has no problems communicating with APPs, residents and attending physicians. She treats us all the same, with respect and professionalism. She is extremely dedicated to providing discharge education to the patients and families to make sure the transition home is successful. Many of our patients are anxious and fearful of discharging home. She continually gives reassurance, not only to the patients but families as well, that they are capable of success at home which is a great commitment to improving the patient’s quality of life post discharge. Her confidence helps our patients relax and ultimately become independent in their cares. Her dedication to extraordinary service with each patient encounter is stellar. Here are a few examples:
We had an end-stage cancer patient who was planning on starting hospice once she returned home to Arizona to be with her children and family. The only problem was that she needed GI suctioning for the decompressive G tube to alleviate nausea and vomiting. No equipment companies supply GI suction for home, but Laura sprang into action and facilitated the process, so the patient was comfortable and the family had all the equipment necessary to transition the patient to hospice.
A plastic surgery resident was telling me how Laura “fast-tracked” a post-operative wound vac on a patient who had an outpatient procedure. The physician was not anticipating needing a wound vac, but during the case decided it was best for the patient and the healing process. The plastic surgery team thought the patient would have to stay overnight, but Laura obtained the vac and insurance authorization the same day and the patient was able to leave the same day!
One day, I saw her rolling a recliner from SOTU to 5W because one of our patients preferred that particular recliner. I asked her what she was doing. She nonchalantly said, “One of our patients needs this so they will get out of bed to sit in the chair more often.” She also said she had to give her arm and leg to the unit she was taking it from to make sure she returned it and she did!
These are just a few of the examples that show how valuable Laura is to our team and our institution. Laura is a true DAISY Nurse.