Abby Shaughnessy
July 2020
Abigail
Shaughnessy
,
RN
Epilepsy Service
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston
,
MA
United States

 

 

 

Abby consistently goes above and beyond to help my patients. There are many examples, but I will choose 1 recent example. I have a patient with severe epilepsy with a history of PTSD related to abuse. The patient's PTSD has made it extremely difficult for them to engage with medical providers and even attend medical appointments. Abby has been a miracle worker for this patient. Abby has responded to countless messages of worry or fear from this patient with messages of positivity a sense of humor and consistent encouragement and affirmation. Abby volunteered to accompany the patient to doctors' appointments (with me and with other related providers) to serve as this patient's advocate. She went out and bought stickers with her own money as a reward for achieving small accomplishments towards her bigger goals. I recently referred this patient to a neurosurgeon for consultation for her epilepsy. Abby independently reached out to and met with the neurosurgeon's nurse practitioner PRIOR to the patient's appointment to make sure they were aware of the patient's history and to develop a plan to make sure the patient would be as comfortable as possible during the appointment. The patient considered the appointment to be a huge success (this was the first doctor's appointment she had been to by herself in MANY years) -- and this was a tremendous step forward for her. With reassurance, thoughtfulness, and tireless compassion, Abby has enabled this patient to engage with her medical providers in ways the patient would have never thought possible. This will have an enormous impact on the patient's ability to receive medical care going forward. Again, this is just one of many examples, but it shows the thoughtfulness care and willingness to go above and beyond that Abby applies to all of our clinic's patients every day. She is truly an amazing nurse.

***

I am 42 years old diagnosed with Epilepsy and from the very first encounter with Abby it has been comforting. Not all my interactions with Abby were face to face at first though. However, as time has gone on it would be highly abnormal if she is not part of my office visits. She is as integral to my well-being as any other part of the team. She is always there giving me feedback being my confidant and my connection to my doctor. She has taken the time to get to know my family. She cares abundantly. She can communicate to me in a way that I understand when transferring important doctor's information. When I email questions or to provide silly knowledge I have looked up on the website or asking for prescription refills I feel like I am waiting for a response from a friend. If she tells me she is going to do something it gets done fast. To me one of the best qualities of Abby's is her ability to individualize my care. During our follow up appointments these appointments are what I like to call maintenance appointments she knows all the details of the appointment and runs the show. My doctor's ability to treat me is much easier because of her. Abby's capacity to operate at a high level under extreme circumstances surpasses all expectations. Some of Abby's qualities include kindness compassion trustworthiness. It is apparent she has earned the respect of everyone she encounters she deserves it.

***

Abby is kind and patient with all my patients. She goes the extra mile to help them work through problems get medications and to answer their difficult questions. She improves the care that all the epilepsy patients receive.

***

Abby has consistently gone above and beyond to help provide the most compassionate care for our patients. As but one example she volunteered to spend several days as the nurse at a 3-day retreat for young adults with epilepsy in October 2019. This enabled the attendees to enjoy their experience without worry about how a potential breakthrough seizure would be managed. Abby was also able to help with medications and offer advice about general medical issues. While here in the office she spends her entire day trying to streamline the process of care educating patients about medication changes and making lives better.