At the beginning of the shift, before we had even made the night assignment, we had an extremely ill patient code. We coded him and got him back. One of my co-workers volunteered to take him. The family was contacted, and they came to the parking lot and stood under their loved ones' window. We proceeded to code this patient four more times up into the early morning hours.
By that time, a family gathering had taken place in our parking lot. I watched my co-worker work relentlessly throughout the night, each time we coded the patient, she begged him to hang on. She told him his family was outside the window. She would go to the window and update the family with written signs of his status or a thumbs up or down. They watched the lights go on when we would code him. They waited while holding their breath, waiting for their nurse to show her face at that window with some kind of sign language update. I watched tears come to her eyes when she stood at the window. All of us were raging with emotions.
The patient did die in the early morning hours, but the family stayed out in the cold all night. Alison went far and above the call of duty. She was truly that family's lifeline. A face in a window. All I know is it could have been any of us in the parking lot and to know we have such a caring and loving employee among us should serve as a comfort and a standard for us all.