Emergency Services & 8E Observation Unit
May 2021
Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center
Melanie Aluotto, Andy Tijerina, Daniel DiDonato, Cindy Jenkins




The COVID-19 Pandemic changed the face of nursing in 2020. Nurses were required to flex, stretch, and adapt quickly in order to provide safe patient care. The collaboration between the 8- East Observation unit nurses and Emergency Department nurses was a shining example of teams pulling together to improve patient care.
As the surge in COVID and PUI numbers presenting to the Emergency Department soared, staff and leadership realized they needed to think outside the box to meet the resource needs of these patients. The Observation unit closed in April 2020 due to a low volume of observation status patients. In order to provide both resources to the patients presenting to the ED and assure the Observation staff were able to work their hours, the Observation staff were cross-trained to care for ED patients in a TEAM model. In this model, the ED, RN, and 8E RN, would be assigned six ED patients.
The ED RN was responsible for overall care, assessment, and management. The 8E RN was trained to be responsible for tasks such as medication administration, vitals, EKGs, and transport. During the months that these teams worked together, the ED was able to safely and efficiently take care of the surge of COVID patients presenting in this pandemic.
For the Observation nurses, this was outside their comfort zone. They were trained as nurses with medical-surgical skills and knowledge. They had to quickly learn about emergency department patient care, processes, procedures, and treatments. These nurses were adaptable and stepped up to meet the needs of our patients.
The ED nurses were compassionate and understanding, welcoming the Observation nurses into their team and providing education and training. Both of these teams working together kept our hospital running during this COVID pandemic to meet the needs of our community.


Team Members honored with this DAISY TEAM Award:
Melanie Aluotto
Andy Tijerina
Daniel DiDonato
Cindy Jenkins