Sunday, June 28th, was a day like any other in the E.D., with a couple exceptions. Anita Bowers, a regular night shift Charge Nurse, had graciously agreed to work extra as day shift Charge to cover a vacancy.
During that time, a child came in with nausea and vomiting that he had been experiencing for the past couple days. His mother reported that his eyes were bothering him for about a week. After some lab work and a CT scan, he was diagnosed with a large brain mass and needed immediate air transfer to UW Madison. The child’s mother worked to find child care for her newborn and a ride to Madison to be with her son.
Anita pulled from her “bag of tricks”, made calls and explored numerous options for keeping the child and his mother together, as well as the child care needed for his sibling. As a mom herself, Anita felt the angst of this mother and continued to search out options when not having success with the usual channels.
It became apparent to Anita; “the only way this woman is going to make it to Madison today is if I take her.” So, once again, exploring options and resources, Anita had an idea. She called her Operational Supervisor and explained the situation. With a collaborative effort and the patient/patient’s family in mind, they devised a plan. Jamie would come into the ED and cover the Charge position, freeing up Anita to drive the mom to Madison. (While this was being put into play, care for the other child with a family friend had been found).
Once Jamie arrived and received report, Anita and the mom headed to Madison (A long journey when your child is flying ahead of you on route to a big hospital and not knowing what’s happening now or what will happen in the next few hours or days).
Anita’s calm demeanor, compassion, empathy, and knowledge shone brightly. She was able to talk with the mom and help her prepare for supporting her child. As a patient and patient’s family advocate, Anita demonstrated a balance of not only caring for the physical well-being of her patient, but the emotional needs too. Her ability to think on her feet, explore options, use her resources, and do what’s best for her patients, is a big part of how she provides exceptional care, not only to this family, but the other patients and co-workers she encounters daily.
Anita is the consummate team player, wanting what’s best for her patients and peers. She balances the ability to provide assistance and yet knows when to ask for help. She is respected by those around her and we feel lucky to have her as a Charge Nurse in the ED.