Gretchen Cooper

Gretchen Cooper, RN , CCRN

ICU Towers
Jewish Hospital (KY) & St. Mary's HealthCare
Louisville, Kentucky
United States

Gretchen Cooper is consistently professional in all situations. She always does the right thing and in fact her mantra is “It is the right thing to do. “ She is a fierce patient advocate . Recently she insisted that a physician follow proper protocol when inserting a central line and when he refused to do so she stood her ground and gave him a sermon as to why she would not allow him to continue and how if he didn’t follow procedure , he was impacting her patient .
Gretchen is a CCRN and is a sought after resource for new and experienced RN’s as well as for the disciplines involved with the patients in ICU. She is proficient in IABP, the Artic Sun , CRRT, and ECMO . She is able to find learning opportunities in every situation and she is a favorite preceptor because of this. She seeks out new ways to explain critical concepts until the lesson is learned. She is extremely patient with the learning process of our orientees and students. She also uses her skills in teaching when working with her patients and patient’s families; she patiently explains what is going on and what the plan of care is for the day.
In February of this year , a young 25 year old patient was admitted to ICU Towers . She was a transfer from another facility where she had just delivered a healthy baby boy by cesarean section. She had been diagnosed with the flu in her last week of pregnancy and despite treatment, her illness had progressed to respiratory failure and ARDS . After arrival at Jewish it was decided that her only chance for survival would be to put her on ECMO because she was not able to oxygenate despite maximum ventilator support. Her young husband was devastated. Adult ECMO therapy is relatively new and so it is a therapy that some ICU Towers nurses have taken classes for but not one that many are comfortable with yet. It was Gretchen who got online, researched it and developed what the other RN’s caring for the patient termed “Gretchen‘s Algorithm “. Her algorithm was at times more aggressive then the physician’s orders and it was Gretchen who would assertively point out the research to the physicians and ensure that the patient got the more aggressive therapy. According to the other RN’s it was Gretchen who led them in their own practice with this patient. It was her care plan that they followed and her guidance that they sought. It is the firm belief of everyone in ICU towers that this young woman, who eventually made it home to her new baby and husband , would not have survived without Gretchen’s outstanding attention to Evidence Based Critical Care Nursing.