Aleena M Gula
September 2023
Aleena M
Pediatric ICU
UVA Health
United States




Aleena met this patient on her level.

Aleena is an invaluable member of the Pediatric ICU nursing staff. She started as a new graduate two years ago and has grown exponentially in her clinical abilities. Aleena comes to work with a positive attitude and is always willing to help out coworkers.

There is a long-term patient on the unit who is solely Spanish-speaking. Despite sedative drips and a trach, this patient has periods of being awake. During these times, the patient looks terrified and is often tearful. The bedside nurse often has to give the patient more sedation medications, which in turn usually means the patient falls back asleep. This is counterproductive to the goal of the medical team which would like the patient to be able to cough and spontaneously breathe in an effort to recruit some diseased lung.

Aleena took it upon herself to research the Spanish translation of common phrases that we use for patients. She formulated a reference sheet, complete with the phonetical pronunciation of the words, emailed it to the staff, and posted it at the patient's bedside. Aleena's sheet included phrases like, "Cold wipe" and "You're safe."

Such a simple intervention, but it has had a positive impact on this patient. During her awake periods, she no longer looks scared and tearful and in turn, she has been receiving fewer sedation boluses. Aleena met this patient on her level and with just one sheet of paper assured this patient that "estas segura." (she is safe).