Elizabeth Brennan

Elizabeth Brennan

Elizabeth Brennan, RN, CAPA

Ambulatory Surgery Center
Morristown Medical Center
Morristown, New Jersey
United States

Ambulatory Surgery Center sees approximately 7000 patients per year. The nurses in ASC have many years of experience and utilize their skills to handle unexpected complications on a daily basis.

In November, Mrs. W, a Mandarin speaking female, came to the Ambulatory Surgery for a procedure. Mrs. W. is not a healthy patient. She has a history of COPD, bronchiectasis and takes oxygen at home. Mrs. W.'s procedure had been cancelled 2 weeks prior due to her respiratory distress.

Mrs. W's 2 hour procedure was uneventful, however, post procedure, she was not very responsive with a respiratory rate of 30 and was coughing up moderate amounts of bloody sputum. Elizabeth assessed the patient and identified that the patient was experiencing inspiratory and expiratory wheezing and communicated to the anesthesiologist. Elizabeth obtained a respiratory treatment for the patient. Mrs. W's, head was floppy from the anesthetics so Elizabeth rigged a foam headrest to assist in maintaining the patient's head elevated in order to maintain an open airway and better ventilation. Elizabeth utilized her many years of surgical nursing experience as she collaborated with the physicians to manage Mrs. W's airway and continuously assess her respiratory status. Prior to bringing Mrs. W's family in to visit, Elizabeth utilized one of the Mandarin speaking anesthesiologists to communicate with the patient. Elizabeth then assessed these family members ability to care for the patient at home during her interactions. Through her diligent assessments, Elizabeth was able to control Mrs. W's pain which in turn improved her respiratory status and allowed the patient to rest.

After about 4 hours, Mrs. W was discharged home with her family. The family was very appreciative of the care Elizabeth provided and felt comfortable taking their loved one home. The following day Elizabeth followed up Mrs. W's husband and confirmed that Mrs. W. was doing fine.

I believe that Elizabeth played an integral part in the care and subsequent discharge of Mrs. W. She provided quality, compassionate care to Mrs. W., supported Mrs. W.'s family and was attentive to their emotional, cultural and spiritual needs. Elizabeth's compassion and commitment to excellence is deserving of recognition. Mrs. W. was not the exception, but merely an example of Elizabeth's high standard of practice through the recovery.