Angelika Ashburn
January 2017
Loma Linda University Health
Loma Linda
United States




It was an extremely busy day in the PICU. Nursing assignments were heavy and we didn’t have a unit circulator. Angel started her day by coming to PICU and taking one of our PICU patients for a stat head CT, only to find out she had severe increased ICP and was on the verge of herniation. When Angel returned to the unit, she found out that I was extremely short staffed and the bedside nurse, a float, wasn’t able to care for this patient. I was in panic mode. Angel helped us intubate, push 3% Saline and then took the patient down to the OR for an emergency craniotomy!

A few hours later, we called a code on a different patient. Angel responded as part of the CCST and came to the patient’s room. For the next 5 hours, she helped us code a dying baby who eventually didn’t make it. She helped us do chest compressions, intubate, place a PICC line, insert chest tubes, get ultrasounds, place an arterial line and insert a subclavian line. Angel started epinephrine, norepinephrine, milrinone, precede and morphine drips. She gave potassium and magnesium infusions. She pushed 19 doses of epi, 18 doses of sodium bicarbonate, 8 doses of calcium chloride, 10 normal saline boluses, 4 doses of dextrose, 4 doses of insulin and she drew over 40 labs. Angel had to witness a mother’s unbearable grief as her child was being resuscitated. Angel was one of the key players in the room that day and without her compassion, skill, and teamwork I can’t even begin to imagine how much worse that day could have been. I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart! It’s nurses like her who make this profession so trusted.