May 2017
Emergency Department Team
at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
RNs and more
Emergency Department
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
United States




Recently, Mr. Y arrived at the Ralph H. Johnson’s ER, accompanied by his wife for a “second opinion.”  The Mr. Y’s wife was very concerned about her husband’s severe 10/10 pain in the chest and abdomen, after being diagnosed with only a left clavicle fracture by the previous facility earlier that morning.  The patient reiterated what had happened to him and that the only trauma workup that was done at the non-VA facility was a clavicle x-ray.

Larry greeted Mr. Y and his wife and soon discovered that the mechanism of injury was that he struck a deer at 40mph while riding his motorcycle.  Larry immediately jumped into action, took him straight back to the treatment area and alerted the ED physician, Dr. John Reed.  Realizing that he was dealing with a trauma victim, Larry quickly mobilized the ED team to obtain the necessary resources that Sunday evening.  Larry instantly took Mr. Y to Radiology for abdominal and chest CTs, where he also started a second IV line.   There was a quick read of the CT scans, indicating our Veteran sustained a lacerated spleen extending through the anterior-posterior region.

Larry notified the surgery team stat and ensured that MUSC transport was being arranged, while he stayed at the patient’s side, monitoring his pain and vital signs.  Albert Dopico kept the flow going in the ED as charge nurse, and Ken Stephens facilitated the rapid transport by making a call so that our veteran could be transported swiftly to a level I trauma center.

While in our ER, Mr. Y received superior care, thorough assessment, with stat labs and images, stabilization and transport to MUSC in less than 50 minutes!   While all this took dedicated teamwork, it started with this knowledgeable and skilled RN, Larry Wallace, who consistently gives our veterans the integrity, advocacy, respect, commitment, and excellence that makes us proud to be a part of this VA team.  Witnessing the teamwork, seamless flow from individual patient care to coming together with a goal of safety for everyone involved makes myself proud to be on the off tour with these leaders of healthcare; especially considering that half of these nurses have just been a part of this organization for less than a year!

 Team Members honored with this DAISY Team Award:

Larry Wallace, RN

Ken Stephens, RN

Albert Dopico, RN

John Reed, MD