Delivering exemplary nursing care in the emergency department is continually a challenge because of the diversity of patients and diagnosis that one sees. Nurses are called to be proactive in advancing their knowledge so that they can appropriately care for patients of all ages with all different types of complexities. It is important that nurses identify key assessment abnormalities in order to treat patients quickly when a crisis is imminent, and yesterday Melissa did exactly that.
A teenage patient arrived to the ED, and he was critically ill. EMS gave report to Melissa, as this is the process when patients arrive by ambulance. EMS alluded to what they thought had prompted the patient to become combative and agitated. However, Melissa decided to investigate for herself to identify why the patient presented in the way he did. Through her keen and thorough assessment, she realized that the patient had possibly suffered a major neurological event, and she immediately escalated her concerns to a physician that was previously unaware of these findings. She remained calm with both the patient and family, attempting to carry out various nursing orders despite an incredibly intense situation. She took the patient to radiology, and it was found that this patient had a critical, life-threatening hemorrhage in his brain that was causing his behavior.
The patient needed to be transferred to another facility. It was just prior to this transfer that the patient's father told Melissa that he'd noticed Melissa find through her assessment indication that something was very wrong. He mentioned to her that he had appreciated her not only possibly identifying an underlying condition, but also for advocating for his son.
This story was reported to me mostly from Melissa, but it was clear in her recall of the events that she had not identified all that she had done for this patient. As we discussed her crucial role in this patient's survival, she slowly realized her contributions.
Melissa is able to stay incredibly calm and composed when stressful situations occur, and she manages to keep strong connections with her patients and their families through heartache. As Melissa teared up telling me about the patient's father acknowledging the care she had given for this patient, it occurred to me that Melissa encompasses the kindness, empathy, and compassion of a DAISY Nurse.