I am new to the unit and Heather has always been there to lend a helping hand. She has been a great teacher in helping me become accustomed to the unit. She is an excellent teacher and I know that I can rely on her to help me pull through if I ever need her. At MUSC we strive for our nurses to change what is possible. This can be from the care we give or the actions we take. Heather has been a nurse with MUSC since 2003 and started in this unit in 2008. We are so lucky to have a great nurse who goes above and beyond what she has to do.
Heather received a patient in the afternoon who was going to have a procedure done with interventional radiology. As she always does, Heather asked the patient about her history and where the patient was from. Heather learned that the patient was a very active woman three months prior and that she got really sick and was admitted to the hospital where she became very deconditioned and unable to walk. The patient's family stepped up and moved her to South Carolina from Georgia where she was originally from. She was admitted to another hospital in South Carolina where she was discharged home with no home health care or any communication with a social worker. When she was explaining this, Heather asked who takes care of her. The son and nieces were alternating taking care of the patient who was total care. The family explained that no help was offered to them. Heather asked if it was okay for her to contact the social worker to help them. Heather found out that the unit did not have a social worker since it is considered outpatient procedures. She contacted the social worker from the unit and explained the situation. The social worker helped Heather find out that the patient was not able to get home health here in South Carolina because she had Medicare through Georgia. Heather explained this to the patient and family and was able to get in touch with the people to have the patient's address changed and updated. With this, Heather helped the family find a local primary care physician and was able to get everything in order so that the patient and family could get home health nursing.
After Heather finished getting the patient settled with home health the patient developed a reaction to a medication. She required more care and the patient kept stating that Heather was an angel for taking care of her. The patient also felt bad that Heather was staying past her shift but Heather kept telling her that she was here to help her. Throughout the time that Heather spent with the family, she continued to have a smile on her face and reassure the patient and family that everything was okay.
The lady and her family were so grateful in the care Heather gave all of them that day. This was an issue that was resolved by a nurse who ultimately cares about her patient. This was something that was not required by her but she took the time to realize that this family and patient needed this help. She used her expertise and resources to make life easier for this patient since this was a new way of living for the patient. It was a hard new reality for the patient and her family but Heather was able to reassure them that they would get through it. She demonstrated the gate that states, caring within a Tradition of Excellence. Her caring nature is what this family needed at that moment. Her professional integrity could not let this patient go on without proper health care. She advocated for her patient and with her collaboration and skillfulness was able to provide the best care for the patient. She went above and beyond her call of duty that day and she deserves to be recognized for being such an amazing, caring person, friend, and NURSE!!! Heather demonstrates compassion for everyone she meets. She has a voice that is very comforting and makes a person feel at ease for the surgeries that await them.