Calling a rapid response is almost never a part of your ideal night. With rapid responses come doubts, worries, questions, conversations and, if you're lucky, Jen Miller.
One day, a patient who was very near and dear to my heart came back to BMT. She'd been doing so well, she looked so good and she'd made it six months without stepping foot back into this place (which was pretty good for her).
She came in for some fairly typical respiratory issues with stable VS (vital signs). She was disappointed to be back but happy she got to show off how well she'd been doing.
We had a chance to catch up and I sent her down to CT. She came back, ready to go to bed, but before I knew it, we were calling a rapid response for a collection of symptoms I felt needed more attention.
Much to my relief, who comes down pushing that cart but Jen Miller. I don't know Jen personally, yet she's played a significant role in my development as a nurse at our health system. As a new nurse to the floor, you tend to question all the calls you make, because you don't have a whole lot of experience from which to base them. Over time, though, Jen had frequented enough of my rapids to teach me that it didn't matter, that it was okay if I felt like my patient needed a little more attention because I was just trying to do right by them.
Jen Miller will never make you doubt yourself or feel foolish for your concerns. She'll listen to your concerns with sincerity and openly take your thoughts, opinions, and experiences into consideration. She's never condescending and she's always in your corner.
I guess it comes down to validation and teaching. There were definitely times where the situation may not have warranted a rapid response, but she'll validate you anyway and teach you something along the way.
Let me tell you, as a nurse with patients who can become critical very quickly, I can't express enough how much I appreciated that. At the end of the day, it's all about keeping patients safe, and sometimes you're not sure if you ought to call that rapid, but when Jen's there you feel better. It's like, "Hey! You were concerned and that's okay! It's always better to be safe than sorry." Thank you for that, Jen. Thank you so much.
Well, I'd say that's enough to recognize this special nurse, wouldn't you? But that night just never seemed to end. The symptoms for which we called the original rapid subsided and it all seemed okay, except suddenly her VS were worse, her NEWS score was increasing and things were going in the opposite direction.
There comes Jen again, a few hours later to reassess my patient, and just in time too, because I could have called another rapid at that point. She didn't leave my patient's side for the next three hours. There were a series of tests, attempts to improve my patient's vitals, and a constant fight from Jen to either better my patient or get her moved to a more appropriate location. She was in constant communication with the ICU fellow, trying to do the best thing for both the patient and for myself.
With three other patients on the Hem/BMT unit, I couldn't have possibly spent that continuous amount of time with that patient and still have taken proper care of my other ones. Eventually, the patient necessitated a transfer, and I believe it was because of Jen's professionalism, persistence, diligence, consideration for my assignment as a floor nurse, incredible work ethic, and passion for nursing, that I was able to walk away from that night feeling like everything was done for that patient.
She was kind, reassuring to my patient and myself, she fought my fight, she advocated for my patient and, at the end of the day, I thank the nursing universe that Jen was with the Rapid Response Team that night.