Hillary Tijerina is a bedside nurse on the 8th floor inpatient medical unit. She is a clinical expert on our floor and supports our unit on a daily basis, regardless of if she is playing the role of bedside nurse, relief charge nurse, or preceptor, all of which she excels in. Hillary has been very active in education as she has developed her nursing career here at CHCO. Her desire to provide family-centered care is evident in her teaching at the Family Learning Center where she instructs families on the use of NG, G-Tube, and Central lines for home care. In addition, she assists our unit with completion of Competency on the Fly by being a skills validator for our staff. She frequently precepts nursing students, new hire RNs, and new graduates and is a resource for all our staff.
Hillary went above and beyond caring for a Burmese family whose child was admitted with feeding difficulties. This child required tube feeds via NG and the family was Burmese speaking only and could not read or write in their own language. The mother of the patient had attended the NG class twice and was still struggling to program, run the pump, and deliver safe medication doses to the patient. The multidisciplinary team was concerned that the family was not going to be able to learn to use the feeding pump or safely administer medications due to the language, reading, and writing barriers. It was discussed with the team that the child may have to be removed from the home and placed in foster care to receive the care that was needed.
Due to Hillary’s expertise in educating our patients and families we asked her mid-shift to change patient assignments, assume care for this patient, and attempt to provide NG and medication teaching again. After speaking with the mother, Hillary felt that the mom had the ability to learn the patient’s care if we could come up with a system of pictures and color matching that did not require the mom to read or write. Hillary came up with a creative solution that kept the child with the family. She created a binder for the mother that contained photos she took of the mother pointing at the correct buttons on the pump and programing the correct rate of the infusion so that the mother could match the steps in the photos as she prepared the feeds. With the same method, she was able to teach the mother to troubleshoot any alarms that the feeding pump may alert. In addition, Hillary utilized colored stickers to color code syringes with medications so that the mother could differentiate the medications and correctly deliver daily medication dosages.
Hillary spent two days educating the mother, ensuring that the mother understood the volumes and the rates that needed to be delivered and felt comfortable and safe delivering medications. After the two days of teaching, the mother was able to demonstrate she could competently provide the medical care the patient needed, the medical team was confident in mom’s ability to provide safe care, and the patient was successfully discharged home with her family. Hillary’s devotion and passion to family-centered care and a creative approach to communication and education kept this patient in the care of the parents.
Hillary is recognized frequently for her ability to teach our new graduate and new hire RNs, support her fellow teammates during busy shifts and care for complex families and patients with the utmost professionalism and clinical skill. The example above is a just one instance of the extraordinary care Hillary delivers. Her expertise is valued greatly on our unit and her positivity is infectious. She is a great role model for our new nurses and seasoned nurses alike.