Dr. P and a floor nurse called Denise in the ER last evening about a patient on the floor who was wanting to leave AMA over concerns about her husband at home, who is a stroke victim who she is the primary caregiver for. Dr. P said it was imperative for this patient to stay and continue to get the current treatment for her sepsis, as she is also battling Pancreatic cancer and could Denise please come and speak with her. Denise, who had come in for a 10 hour shift to cover a co-worker’s vacation, was nearing the end of her day but went upstairs to try and convince our patient that there were alternatives to this patient leaving the hospital. Upon arriving to the room, Denise found the patient to be in a panic attack. The patient explained that her iPhone had been lost since she was here at the hospital and the staff believes it went to the laundering facility. The patient went on to "find my iPhone" and tried to locate her phone and when she did this, it locked both her phone and her husband’s at home. Her husband has been staying at home alone, wheelchair-bound, with only the neighbor checking in on him and now he has no phone to call 911 in case he falls or there is an emergency. Denise at first tried contacting the neighbor, who was at work and could not help. At this point, it was the end of her shift and Denise drove to the patient’s house and made attempts to unlock the spouse's phone for him. Thankfully, the spouse was doing fine and wheeling around in his chair. When these attempts were unsuccessful, because our patient could not remember the password for her iCoud, she then drove to Walgreens and bought with her own money, a Tracphone for the spouse with the pre-programed 911 in big buttons for him and brought it back to the house and put it on the charger for him. While she was there, she was able to find out that he has home health that comes once a month for an injection, so she called them and asked them to come tomorrow and make a visit to check on him as well as increase services while the spouse is at Fawcett. She asked the spouse if he had eaten, luckily he had already, and then most importantly, she called our patient and closed the loop with her so she had some comfort and felt as though she could stay and continue her treatment.
I heard her discussing with our social worker this morning, what the plan was going to be for them both, considering the patient's prognosis and asking for the reinforcement of home health making services in the home while she's here. When I told Denise how amazing she was and thanked her for going above and beyond, her response was nothing more than "it was the right thing to do". She is an awesome nurse every day, exemplifying our mission statement every single shift, but this day, she was amazing and we are so grateful to have her.