It is difficult to only mention one event in which Candice Christopher has met the qualifications of a DAISY Nurse. Candice has spearheaded multiple unit improvement tasks, updated and implemented orientation binders for our nurses orienting to open-heart surgery recovery, has recently taken the lead in for our early mobility campaign, and is frequently the first choice for orienting new staff. Candice has over a decade of up to date critical care experience. She holds her nursing practice to the highest standards of evidence-based practice and encourages her colleagues to do the same.
Candice has been exponential in educating staff nurses in the care of our vascular patients. One procedure performed is the Thoracic Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (TEVAR) procedure. This procedure decreases morbidity and mortality when compared to the open surgical procedure, but it carries an increased incidence of spinal cord ischemia. A spinal drain is placed to decrease the risk of spinal ischemia after surgery. The spinal drain measures intracranial pressure (ICP). Orders are given for the removal of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) with the drain if ICP increases or signs of spinal ischemia are present. This summer one of our patients experienced spinal ischemia shortly after the removal of a non-functioning spinal drain. The bedside nurse sought out Candice when she suspected spinal cord ischemia. Candice notified our group and assisted an anesthesiologist in the placement of the proper sized drain. The patient recovered sensation and paralysis ceased. Candice saw the learning opportunity. She encouraged the staff on duty that day to participate and recognize that though the incidence of spinal ischemia is low, it is always a risk with this less invasive approach. Thanks to Candice's prompt intervention another person benefited from the less invasive procedure.
As a physician, I feel confident when I know Candice is caring for my patients. I frequently hear positive comments from patients, nurses, and fellow physicians about her character. We should all take a page from her book of self-driven excellence to patient care.