Jennifer McMullen
September 2020
Jennifer
McMullen
,
RN
White 8 Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston
,
MA
United States

 

 

 

Jenn has been a nurse for over 10 years and is always ready to care for our diverse population of patients. The COVID-19 population is of course new to us since White 8 has been a COVID floor for only a few weeks, but Jenn has always been able to adapt to any challenge.

The example that comes to mind is only one instance of Jenn's ability to adapt. We had patient who transitioned to Comfort Measures Only overnight due to progressing COVID-19 and was clinically decompensating. This shift, Jenn did not have Mr. B as a patient but cared for him on previous shifts.

At the time, the nurse caring for Mr. B was a float nurse who was unfamiliar with general medicine. Jenn took it upon herself to assist the float nurse with end of life care and update the float nurse on Mr. B's case. While the float nurse was tied up in another patient’s room Jenn spent time with Mr. B who was desating because he was continuously taking off his oxygen mask. She helped him with the mask and talked him through deep breaths. We witnessed Jenn hold his hand and start small talk with him to keep his mind off pulling at the oxygen mask.

She even took the time to place cold cloths on his head to make him feel more comfortable. She swabbed his mouth with cold water, applied moisturizer to his lips, and held his hand throughout all of this. The patient's wife was on her way in to say her final farewell. Since Jenn had spent so much time caring for Mr. B, she knew how important it was to him to be able to say goodbye to his wife.

I witnessed Jenn hold his hand for over 45 minutes that day and give him much needed TLC. He told Jenn that "I am trying to fight to see her" and Jenn comforted him as he was saying this. She made him feel more at peace with her soft-spoken kind words. Due to Jenn's compassionate nature, Mr. B was able to feel more comfortable and less agitated and was able to rest peacefully.

Unfortunately, Mr. B's wife was unable to make it to the hospital in time but with support from our Social Work colleagues she was able to get closure and Jenn was able to be there for Mr. B comforting him in his final moments.