On any given day Brittany is amazing. She always has a smile on her face and a friendly demeanor. She is well liked by her patients, their families, and her peers. Whether it is her first shift that week or her fourth in a row she has a great attitude, rarely complains about anything, and is the first to jump in and help out a coworker without even being asked.
One morning at the end of a long night shift she asked me to look at one of her patients with her as he seemed difficult to arouse. I looked at the patient with her and was concerned as well and asked the charge nurse to come to the room. We were finally able to arouse the patient and a few minutes later it seemed like he was okay. A little while later a few of us had clocked out and were ready to walk out together. Brittany told us not to wait for her so we left. I found out later that she tracked down the night charge nurse (who was about to leave) and had him return to her patient’s room since she felt in her gut that he was not okay.
I would like to mention at this point that she had already given report to day shift on the patient, which included her concerns, and had to come back in early that afternoon for a class before working another shift that night. Still, she could not shake the feeling that he was not okay. After reassessing the patient and calling the doctor to the bedside, the patient was transferred back to PICU just in time as his body temperature and blood pressure were dropping. The patient ended up transferring back to CIRU a few days later, but things might have turned out much worse for him had Brittany not followed her gut instinct. Later she was second guessing herself about missing something overnight that might have alerted her sooner that he was trending downward. I told her that her actions had saved that patient’s life.