Noemi Abueg
February 2018
Critical Intensive Care Unit
James A. Haley VA Hospital
United States




Noemi Abueg had a major impact on a CICU patient and his family at the end of the veteran's life.
The veteran in the CICU was end stage and Ms. Abueg was a patient advocate by clearly conveying the patient's wishes for end of life. The patient wanted to be made a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and have hospice care. She consistently reviewed and shared the patient's wishes with the medical team and after several discussions, the patient was placed on a DNR status and hospice was consulted. This plan of care aligned with the patient's desire for the end of his life. The patient's daughter submitted a Gold Star for Ms. Abueg based on her advocacy and professionalism when communicating with the family. Ms. Abueg was commended for using humor with the patient and successfully engaging him in decisions about his plan of care.
In addition to the end of life support Ms. Abueg gave the patient she also demonstrated extraordinary emotional support and customer service for the family. The daughter was from California and was staying in the Fisher house. When a hurricane warning required her to evacuate the Fisher house Ms. Abueg arranged for her to stay in the room with her father. Due to his extended stay in the CICU, his daughter was trying to assist her father with paying recurring monthly bills. Both the family and patient were very concerned about these financial obligations. These arrangements were complicated and required the daughter to go in person to the bank. The bank was not located within walking distance of the hospital. After completion of her tour of duty, Ms. Abueg drove the daughter to the bank so that she could complete these necessary financial transactions. She also consulted with the Social Worker to assist with anyother end of life arrangements for the patient. The outcome was that the patient's financial obligations were taken care of in an expedited manner.
Ms. Abueg gave emotional support to this patient and family who were dealing with the stress of end-of-life decisions, financial concerns, and inclement weather. The impact Ms. Abueg had on this patient and family was profound by being instrumental in giving the patient peace that his finances would be taken care of after he passed away. She provided extraordinary care and exceptional interpersonal skills to both the family and patient during a very stressful time in their lives. The emotional support that Ms. Abueg gave her patient had a memorable and positive impact not only on the veteran but also the CICU team.