Ruth Bertuzzi

Ruth Bertuzzi, RN, MSN

4 East (IMC)
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital (MD)
Baltimore, Maryland
United States

Ruth is described as “an exceptional patient advocate”, and her nomination floored us with the story of her interactions with a patient who had multiple re-admissions following an MVA 13 years prior. This man was bed-bound, had a tracheotomy and was diagnosed as being in a “persistent vegetative state”.

While on daily rounds, Ruth noticed some new behaviors, that the patient seemed to be trying to communicate, and that there was a consistency of response. He was able to nod and blink, as well as follow some simple commands. She notified Dr Pilling and a Physical Medicine and Rehab eval was obtained. Shortly after initial PT/OT/SLP evaluations, the patient was using an adaptive call bell, was up in a chair and beginning to speak. The patient was admitted to CIR.

The nurses, doctors and therapists involved with this case were delighted to have made such a difference in the man's life. The case manager who nominated Ruth stated, “This gentleman smiled for the first time I have seen and I have worked with him for over 8 years.”