Erica Ascencio
September 2020
Erica
Ascencio
,
BSN, RN, PHN
Radiation Oncology
UCLA Health

 

 

 

Erica consoled and comforted her until she calmed down. Erica did not feel comfortable sending the patient and his wife to the ED so she made arrangements with the ED and walked her over.

Erica is an extraordinary nurse and always goes above and beyond for patients in the clinic. She is also a leader in the clinic and is looked up to by her colleagues. She is willing to jump in and help when needed and will always answer questions from staff or patients.

One situation, in particular, makes her stand out even more. We had a patient who was receiving radiation therapy to the head and neck area. The patient came into the clinic for his weekly treatment visit with the doctor. The patient is unable to speak because of his facial deformities and dry mouth from cancer treatments. When checked, the patient's vital signs were not within normal range and he needed to have an immediate chest x-ray and be taken to the ED. Erica went into swift action working with the doctor to get the tests ordered and help the patient.

In addition to the patient having issues, the patient's wife has severe dementia and the patient is the primary caregiver. At times the wife did not even know who her husband was and would tell everyone this. When Erica was assessing the husband, the wife repeatedly told her that this man was not her husband. The wife claimed she was mad at this man because he was lying and she did not want her husband to hear about another man calling her his wife.

When the wife realized who he was, she then began to cry and Erica consoled and comforted her until she calmed down. Erica did not feel comfortable sending the patient and his wife to the ED so she made arrangements with the ED and walked her over. She stayed to explain the situation and verify the patient's identity since the wife at times was unable to do so. Erica continued to explain the situation to all who would need to know for the patient's care. She even took it upon herself to get take-out dinner for the wife and bring it back to her in the ED. The wife was very thankful and well taken care of thanks to Erica.