Working in the Interventional Radiology department, we have the privilege to care for many different patients. Some patients we see only one time and some patients we see on a weekly basis.
When one of our ‘regular’ patients arrived to our unit for her weekly appointment, we reviewed her recent labs before going forth with her scheduled procedure. The patient had a sodium level that had been trending down over the last several weeks.
Using her nursing judgement, Tiffany obtained an order to recheck her sodium level to prevent possible complications of continuing with the procedure. The patient’s sodium level was at a critically low value. It was so low that her procedure was cancelled and she was advised to immediately go to the emergency department.
The patient lived alone and did not have any family or friends in the area. However, she did have a dog that she loved very much and treated like a family member. The patient did not want to go to the emergency department because she feared she would be admitted, thus leaving her unable to care for her dog.
Tiffany gave the patient her personal cell phone number and immediately offered to take her dog in and care for the her so the patient could get the care and treatment she needed.
Tiffany went to the patient’s house after her shift ended, picked up the dog and cared for her several days while the patient was admitted. Tiffany purchased food for the dog, bathed her and spent the majority of her weekend playing with and caring for the dog. She also kept in contact with the patient to assure her that the dog’s needs were being met.
By doing this, it allowed the patient to focus on her own health and not have to worry about her dog. When the patient was finally discharged from the hospital, Tiffany returned the dog to her owner. Although, caring for the dog over the weekend was already a huge act of kindness, Tiffany went above and beyond by stopping at the grocery store on her way to the patient’s house to pick up a few items the patient needed.
Tiffany truly went above and beyond her basic duty of being a nurse. She is a wonderful example of a selfless and compassionate nurse, and she has inspired me to be a better nurse and a better person.