Ashley Gardner

Ashley Gardner

Ashley Gardner, RN

Labor & Delivery
Parkland Health & Hospital System
Dallas, Tennessee
United States
Ashley instantly saw how broken I was and knew exactly what I needed to hear and even had me crack a smile as she told me we would meet "Baby Ashley" soon.

During my pregnancy, I always imagined how my labor and delivery experience would go, but as an L&D nurse, I knew things could always change. I never thought things would go the way they did, but I'm beyond thankful for my nurse. When Ashley first arrived to her shift, she entered the room extremely energetic and outgoing. She sparked an interest in who everyone was and even joked to everyone that the baby is being named after her. Throughout the night she would even refer to the baby as "Baby Ashley." She definitely kept an overall positive attitude when things felt like they were hitting the fan. When choosing who I wanted to take part in my care for my experience, I knew I could not have chosen anyone better than the one who precepted me. What better way to know how a nurse works along bedside than for you to have been trained by them. She has shown me everything I know PLUS some. I knew she was great with other patients, but I couldn't help but hope she was just as great when providing care for me. I look back now and am not sure why I even thought twice, because she was EXCEPTIONAL.

Many things are in our job description per se, but I feel that being on the other side of things is a huge eye-opener of how phenomenal she really was. If my baby showed any signs of fetal distress she was at bedside within seconds intervening. I may have known what was happening, but without any hesitation, she educated my husband and family. As silly and "small" as it sounds, I never once had to ask to have my pads or linens changed or for peri care because the initiative she took was outstanding. I ended up spiking a fever throughout the night and Ashley was always prepared for what could come next. She attempted to get my fever down with ice packs, Tylenol, and antibiotics. She even went ahead and had the cooling blanket ready in the room in case things took a turn for the worse. I'm not sure why this surprised me at all, because Ashley has always been one step ahead of herself. That's one thing about being a nurse, it isn't always about what is happening but looking at all the possibilities of what could happen and knowing how to prioritize. During all of this, my epidural was not working and she was constantly having to page Anesthesia. Ashley never once made me feel like I was bothering her for anything. I also never had to use my call light to reach her because of how often she was assessing me at bedside. As the night progressed and her shift was coming to an end, she knew she was only allowed to work 16 hours in a shift, but was willing to clock out and clock back in when it was time to have a baby. That was a true eye-opener for me because I don't know many nurses who will make a sacrifice as such.

When I was told a C-section was in my best interest, I instantly became hysterical. We reached out to Ashley immediately and she was extremely responsive and at my bedside within minutes. She instantly saw how broken I was and knew exactly what I needed to hear and even had me crack a smile as she told me we would meet "Baby Ashley" soon. I knew she was just as great in the operating room and simply asked her to circulate my case and without any hesitation, she said YES! Instant relief was brought to me knowing she would still take part in my care. After my procedure, I thought we would say our goodbyes and I thanked her, but she still stayed and helped get me situated for my recovery and even stayed to help me begin breastfeeding.

As a first time mom, I definitely could have had worse things happen during this labor experience but the care provided by Ashley made the positives outweigh the negatives. Even after all that she had done for my family and me, she still reaches out and checks on me and my baby. I definitely hope being on the other side of things will help me become just as great of a nurse as Ashley was for me.