The story behind this nomination began a week and a half ago when my brother-in-law had extensive maxillofacial surgery accompanied by a skin graft along with cardiovascular complications. My brother-in-law spent several days in ICU, where he received very good care and attention. However, after experiencing this level of attentiveness and care, we were concerned when he was being moved to the floor. We fully understand the decreased ratio of nurses to patients with increased workloads, and we were prepared to provide the additional care and oversight necessary to achieve positive post-op care and outcomes.
The morning after the patient was transferred to the floor, Nurse Tashena Eason came into the room and introduced herself to our brother-in-law and to the family, taking note of each family member's name and relationship to the patient. She immediately established a very positive relationship with the patient and with each of us. Prior to coming into the room, Tashena had checked the patient's chart and knew that the patient was a Pharmacist and that he had maxillofacial surgery at this hospital in 2015, with less than positive outcomes.
Tashena showed great empathy and commitment for quality care toward the patient and the family, especially over our concerns about maintaining the viability of his skin flap. She assured each of us that, "He will not lose this flap on my watch." Tashena continued checking his flap hourly as well as his pain and comfort levels. Each time she checked on the patient she would turn to me or another family member and ask if we needed anything or had any questions. Again, with any questions, Tashena would answer professionally and knowledgeably. Teamwork can sometimes be difficult to judge when positions are specialized, and staffing levels are low. However, there was a very specific occasion that again highlights Tashena's compassion, clinical skills, and overall care for the patient.
The patient is on Heparin, which needed to be stopped prior to blood draws. Tashena took it upon herself to communicate with the Phlebotomist and coordinate the time of blood draws so she could place the Heparin on hold prior to the draw, resulting in more true results/values.
The family was so very appreciative of her taking this initiative and again it gave us such comfort and confidence in the patient's care. It has been my experience over the last 40 years to rarely find both the qualities and the clinical skills that qualify individuals for such recognition, particularly Accountability. It is my pleasure and honor to state that Nurse Tashena excels in this area. She makes herself accountable for everything she does with a patient. When she would tell us she would be back in a minute, an hour, she would be there.
Additionally, after we struggled with constant intermediate alarms and problems with the Wound Vac, Tashena took it upon herself to contact the department responsible and to follow up, meeting that department in the room, having the unit replaced with a new one and making sure it was working properly. Her primary concern was for the patient to have positive outcomes and it was not acceptable on her part for her to simply tell us she called someone and leave it in their court. Selflessness can sometimes be a difficult trait for people to consistently maintain. However, Tashena has continued to put this patient's needs and care first. We recognize that she is a human being with a life outside this hospital, but she has never once not walked into the room without a smile on her face and her first question being how my patient by name is, and how the family is, do we need anything.
On several occasions, we had concerns and questions regarding the patient's diet and other needs. She always took the time to answer all our questions, never making us feel like she couldn't wait to get out of the room or rush off someplace. When it comes to Clinical Skills, Tashena again exceeded our expectations more than once in this area.
One early morning the patient's wife came into the room and noticed that the patient's flap appeared more swollen than usual. She contacted Tashena who responded immediately to the room, checked the flap, and determined based on irregular Doppler readings and observations that there was an immediate concern. She informed the surgical team and returned to the room to assist the doctors who had to relieve the pressure. The doctors noted that this observance was, “a good catch". Thanks to Tashena's skills in using the Doppler and her quick response in gathering the troops, there were no implications for the swelling or to his flap.
Other examples of Tashena’s skills were her attention to cleanliness, maintaining sanitary compliance and especially privacy. An example of these clinical skills was when the patient's antibiotic IV bag would be replaced. Tashena always used a black marker to block-out patient information prior to disposing. I have never witnessed this with any other staff person in this hospital or any other medical center. Another example was the day she observed that the patient's IV line had reached its maximum and needed to be replaced. She advised the patient and the family of this need and planned the replacement after tending to other patients that same afternoon.
In our opinion, Nurse Tashena exemplifies the characteristics and clinical skills outlined by the DAISY Award. We have no doubt that weather Tashena wins this award or not, although we hope she does, she will continue to provide the excellent care and compassion all patients should expect and deserve. Thank you for the opportunity to submit this nomination for Nurse Tashena for the DAISY Award.