I have had several instances where I have worked on a weekend when Colleen is the nurse for the Veterans who I am working with for physical therapy. Often, these are Veterans who have just had a total joint replacement the previous day. The overall goal for these Veterans is to get them medically stable, up and walking, and improve their joint range of motion, so that they can return home safely. Therefore, physical therapy and exercise are critically important to these Veterans. The first day after surgery, there are often challenges to achieving these goals, such as pain control and medical challenges.
On a recent Sunday, Colleen called down to the physical therapy clinic to convey a report about a particular Veteran who did not do well in PT on Saturday. Colleen had reviewed how the Veteran did on Saturday by reading our PT note. She noted that his performance was not optimal, and she took the Veteran for a walk that afternoon when he was feeling better. Colleen documented this mobility as an attachment on our PT note, so that the PT staff would easily see what the Veteran did in the afternoon. On Sunday, when I worked with the patient, Colleen called down and verbalized how the Veteran did the previous day. I was able to communicate some of the issues the patient had on Sunday during PT, and Colleen worked with the medical team to make some modifications with the pain medication timing so that we could maximize his participation in PT.
Colleen demonstrates the I-CARE principles most notably by demonstrating Advocacy, Integrity, and Excellence. She takes the time to communicate with the PT department in different ways, demonstrating that she embraces the team approach to medical care. She understands that all the providers need to work together to maximize the outcomes of the Veterans. She also does these things with a positive and friendly attitude. Colleen is an extraordinary nurse who deserves recognition for her exemplary, patient-centered work.