Bethany Wignall

Bethany Wignall

Bethany Wignall, RN, BSN

Franciscan Health Michigan City
Michigan City, Indiana
United States
Bethany wasn't afraid to share her expertise and her critical thinking skills to support the thoughts I was nervous to share.

I work in Indianapolis and had the pleasure of working with a new nurse from your hospital on a recent flight home. Her name is Bethany Wignall. There was a patient on our flight who went into a diabetic crisis and the overhead call came for help. When the attendant came to inform me of what was going on, Bethany was sitting behind me. I caught a glimpse of her leaning in and asked her if she was a nurse. She offered but doubted her ability to help because she was a new nurse. I grabbed her and told her we would figure it out. I heard "ER" from her and that was it, I told her she could do it and we moved to the patient.

Well, the new ER nurse, Bethany, was amazing! We had intermittent moments of small talk and found that we are both Franciscan nurses, and while she was hesitant at first as a new nurse to offer her assistance, her calm composure and IV skills under pressure were nothing shy of a very experienced ER nurse. She thought of supplies needed that my brain was not even considering. As we rigged different ideas for the IV and tubing or struggled to find things in the med kit, she welcomed all the non-traditional ways of doing things and they didn't rattle her at all. Additionally, she wasn't afraid to share her expertise and her critical thinking skills to support the thoughts I was nervous to share because it would override a doctor's advice and change the plane's direction. Her calm demeanor and expertise helped tremendously when advising the pilot on whether we actually needed to divert or if we could make it to Indianapolis. I could tell Bethany had worked in an environment where her opinion mattered and she wasn't afraid to advocate for what was best for her patient. We were actually able to avoid diverting in St. Louis due to getting the IV and IV fluid in and she was a big part of making that happen. Seeing all that from Bethany with only a year of experience was impressive. In the end, we felt it was divine intervention we were there together, and I thank Him that she was my partner that night. We also revised the airline policies and offered a few Kaizens on the emergency processes they had in place in hopes of making it better for others in the future.

Our time together started with Bethany being pulled in to the call that I accepted on the plane, and while stating she "was only a new grad," she trusted we could make some sort of difference and jumped into action. I wanted to pass along this information because while I am sure they are aware of the total package this new grad nurse is, my short experience with her proved that she is truly Franciscan in action and a rock star nurse with a not-so-ideal setup. And to be fair, there was an anesthesiologist supporting us, but also pushing for a different course. Tough spot but she rocked it.