Bridget Carlstrom

Bridget Carlstrom

Bridget Carlstrom, RN, BSN

Emergency Department
Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital
Bedford, Virginia
United States
Bridget maintained eye contact and held his hand when he reached up to hold hers, she brought him great comfort at a very scary time.

Bridget helped care for a 98-year-old man in failing health who came to the CBMH ER for what he thought was constipation, he had been there a week before for the same symptoms. It turned out to be a small bowel obstruction and the surgeon asked that an NG tube be placed before he went to his room. Bridget volunteered to do this and, as it turned out, it was good that she did. The patient was apprehensive and everything we did hurt him. Bridget, as she does with all her patients, showed great empathy and told him exactly what was involved in placing the tube. She did so in plain speech, not medical jargon while sitting on a stool at eye level and holding the man's hand. She answered the man's questions, tried to comfort him and prepared him for what was to come. He said he wasn't sure about the tube but he would let her try. She assured him that if he wanted her to stop that she would and that she would be as gentle as she could be.

The first attempt met with the tube coiling in the esophagus and she took it out. She gave him time to recover, talking to him about his past and trying to get his mind off the coming of the second attempt. She maintained eye contact and held his hand when he reached up to hold hers, she brought him great comfort at a very scary time. The second attempt ended much as the first despite employing every trick in the book to get it to go down. The man became anxious and asked that it come out and Bridget took it out. She stayed with him for a few minutes getting him cleaned up and talking him down. All he wanted to do was hold her hand and talk about past visits to the hospital, seeking reassurance. After he was finally ok, Bridget called the surgeon and advocated for the patient in asking that he be given time before any more attempts were made knowing that her patient needed time to recover. She then explained this when giving report so that the patient could go with his wife to a more comfortable room.

Bridget treated this patient with compassion and professionalism, was his advocate and sensed his needs during a very difficult time. She held his hand and communicated person to person, keeping him in the loop at all times and offering him options and a sense of self-control. The patient was obviously happy with the care that he had received and the way in which it was delivered. Bridget is a shining example of what a nurse should be. She treats all of her patients in this manner and is awesome to see in action.


She always has a nice word for me when I'm feeling blue. She got me what I needed to make me in less pain. She is a real credit to being a nurse.