Amanda MacDonald

Amanda MacDonald, BSN, RN

7G Medicine
UPMC Presbyterian
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
Amanda demonstrated the ability to lead and care with courage by taking the time to simply sit with this patient and giving her ample time to attempt to communicate her subjective suffering.

I would like to recognize Amanda for the curative and palliative care she comprehensively provided to Mr./Mrs. A and Miss A. Within our profession it is easy to overlook our colleague's contributions as "normal", when in fact they are extraordinary. Amanda collaborated with Dr. R and various multi-disciplines to contribute to the holistic health and dignity of this family who was tragically affected by the COVID pandemic. Their tender acts of compassion, re-affirmed our team’s cohesive moral and commitment to our standards of excellence.

To explain further, Miss A was the first and youngest to be admitted as COVID + from the family. Miss A had the stress of facing her illness in isolation, behind a windowless closed door, with a blaring machine, and not allowed any human support other than that of the medical staff garbed in PPE. Additionally, she was significantly struggling to breathe and get comfortable. Amanda demonstrated the ability to lead and care with courage by taking the time to simply sit with this patient and giving her ample time to attempt to communicate her subjective suffering. Amanda was able to then escalate the concerns of Miss A to Dr. R and the assigned RN, and expedited getting her to the radiology department and the appropriate medications to promote comfort. Amanda and Dr. R lived out the UPMC values of dignity and respect; quality and safety by not allowing the pandemic or PPE to act as a barrier or an excuse to delay or deliver substandard care. Unfortunately, Miss A’s condition continued to decline and she subsequently was transferred to the Intensive Care Department where she passed away.

Shortly following the passing of Miss A, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A, were admitted as COVID +. They each suffered a tumultuous hospitalization stay which consisted of being transferred to and from the Intensive Care Unit for more aggressive care. Amanda and Dr. R collaborated to ensure that Mr. and Mrs. A were placed in the same semi-private room so that they could be a continuous form of support for one another. Tragically, Mr. A’s condition declined in which he had to be transferred back to the Intensive Care Unit and passed away.

As Mrs. A was preparing for discharge, Amanda and Dr. R were able to fill her with peace and admiration for the outstanding compassionate care that was provided to her and her loved ones. To explain further, Mrs. A was presented with three beautiful carnations, which represented each individual that we cared for on our floor, an angel ornament, card, and inspirational framed poem. Dr. R was not on 7G service and effortlessly came to the floor to fill her with inspiration to face a new "normal" without her loved ones outside of the hospital. Amanda and Dr. R thanked her for allowing us to be intimately involved in their family dynamics, showing us their vulnerability for the course they have endured as a result of COVID-19. Amanda and Dr. R expressed how much we have learned and taken away from each family member. Each patient has a story that we are able to keep alive in our hearts and memory. The interactions with them allowed us to understand the value of life and our call to our profession. Amanda and Dr. R, allowed these patients to be the heroes for entrusting in our medical decisions and ability to advocate for them.

Amanda allowed Mrs. A to be filled with peace, admiration, and hope as she was discharged and we thank her for connecting us back to our purpose.