Rocky is an extraordinary individual who strives to be the best nurse that he can possibly be. He is a DAISY Nurse because he is innovative, compassionate, accountable, respectful, and excellent. Rocky is persistently trying to find ways to better not only his practice, but everyone on the unit. Every time he finds a problem he wants to solve or read literature that differs from his practice, he finds solution to them.
Rocky wanted to improve the patient care experience for patients who have dysphagia and swallowing difficulties. He asked management if they could start stocking apple sauce and thickener on the unit when administering medications. This was then trialed on the unit to enhance practice. This not only met safety concerns but allowed staff the ability to prevent aspiration when caring for this patient population.
Understanding that his unit has a higher prevalence for patients who have heart-shunting issues, he had Micron 0.2 Filter Sets stocked on the unit. This helps nurses give medications and other fluids through the IV line while reducing the risk for giving the patient a stroke.
Rocky also read literature that hypothermia is linked to a higher mortality rate in both infected and non-infected individuals in an inpatient setting. Due to this, he looked at the current modalities to how his unit is tackling the problem of maintaining normothermia. He is currently working on introducing a new fluid warmer called Enflow to the unit with his manager and educator.
Rocky is a part of the Diabetes Management Committee and Ventilator Workgroup. Through those, he gets to serve as a patient advocate in their respective category of patient care. It is without a doubt that he is a compassionate care giver. Working in the ICU, he is often faced with many challenges that include handling different disease processes, end-of-life care, and distress in many forms (i.e. physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional). Rocky loves all of his patients with all of his heart. When he takes care of his patients, he doesn't just see the disease process and what he is treating, he sees the whole person and their family as well. He cares for his patients from a holistic point of view, tackling every little thing that he can to best care for the patient and to comfort their family. He individualizes each patient's care to do what he can within his means to best fit their needs.
Rocky always builds rapport with his coworkers, his patients, and their families. Whenever a coworker needs help whether it be something like admitting a patient or coding a patient, he is always there to lend a helping hand. When he cares for his patients and their families, he often bonds with them. He checks up on his patients who have an extended stay in the ICU and promises to check up on them each day he is at work whether he is caring for them or not. He wants others to know that he is always available as a support system and his coworkers acknowledges this.
It goes without saying that Rocky treats everyone with respect and dignity. This is important when dealing with patients and their experience in a hospital setting. Working in an ICU where falls are more likely due to a variety of aspects, many patients are forced to using a urinal in bed, unable to use a shower, and have to defecate using a bedpan/ bedside commode. He does everything he can to preserve their dignity and value. He takes the time to walk his patients to the restroom or covers his patients up with a blanket when they're on a commode to give them a sense of privacy.
Rocky also takes the time to do what the hospital considers a 'Commit to Sit.' He takes the time to listen to his patients, their concerns, and addresses them to the best of his abilities. He comforts his patients with a healing hand and does whatever it takes to make them comfortable. He always strives to be the best that he can be and it is something that his colleagues acknowledge. He is a multi-PACT card recipient, often being noted as a great team worker and supportive personnel.
Aside from being a great nurse himself, he has previously been a preceptor to promote the growth of nursing. He believes it is his personal responsibility to teach and often says that teaching helps him to grow as well. Lastly, he is involved both on the unit and outside of the unit. Outside of UT Southwestern Medical Center, he volunteers as medical personnel at many places. For example, he has volunteered with his local church camps and as a disaster responder with the local Red Cross, works with special needs children in the summer, and helps through variety of other outlets. On the unit, he is a part of the Unit Based Council. Through that, he strives to increase nursing morale, work on staff education, and bring forth staff concerns to management. He loves the people around him and he shows consistently it through his actions.