I nominate Andrea Cline, RN, BSN, OCN for her outstanding oncology care in general, and specifically with a very challenging patient. Andrea volunteered to provide care for a patient who is receiving treatment for breast cancer. What makes this situation unusual is that the patient also has a behavioral health diagnosis. This patient has a great deal of difficulty relating and responding to others and is always accompanied by a family member to help with communication and interpretation of directions. Andrea spoke with the family member to determine how best to work with the patient, including determining if any violent tendencies were possible so she could best plan to diminish this potential safety risk. It is difficult for staff to work with someone not wanting to communicate or even smile. Andrea is uniquely qualified to care for this patient as she has experienced some of the difficult behavior patterns in the past.
Part of each visit to the Cancer Center is a comprehensive assessment, a series of questions is asked of the patient prior to seeing their physician to determine any adverse side effects to treatment, adherence to medications, and a number of different issues unique to cancer patients. As you can imagine, this is a challenge for someone with communication difficulties. Andrea's solution for the patient not wishing to respond to questions was to intersperse the medical questions with fun, engaging questions. She discovered that the patient liked the color red, ice cream and many other non-medical facts. The patient stayed engaged and was able to give full responses to her assessment questions.
During her visit in late January, Andrea greeted the patient and told her she had a present for her. Andrea presented the patient with a red bag containing the patient's favorite ice cream. This alone would solicit a smile in most patients but it was only when Andrea asked her if she could have some of the ice cream for herself, then giggled and told her "Just kidding!" The patient smiled, all present were amazed at the reaction and the family member was very pleased.
To me this is someone who not only provides excellent care but looks beyond the normal methods to achieve her goals for the patient and at the same time provided an outstanding customer experience for the patient and family.