Jennifer Niedzielski, RN on 51-1 West has demonstrated compassion, empathy, commitment and a connection with Veterans with memory loss. She possesses admirable attributes admired by others.
Jen checked on Veteran #1 at the beginning of her tour. The Veteran was in bed awake with his eyes open. She approached him to ask how he was doing, reaching down to touch his shoulder when he acted afraid of touch. He then looked up and said, “my back hurts, my chest too”. Jen palpated his back and he winced and flinched. With light finger pressure, he would clench his fist and frown. Several times during this assessment he would shy away from touch and show aggression. Jen administered PRN acetaminophen, but it was not effective. The MOD was updated about the pain and he received a one time dose of 5 mg hydrocodone, which was administered and effective. At that time, she palpated his entire back without complaints of pain. He was repositioned with toileting rounds without complaints and with no aggression towards staff. She reported this change in condition to his primary provider and an x-ray was completed which showed L3 superior vertebral endplate compression fracture. The Veteran received scheduled pain medication, which eased his suffering.
Veteran #2 fell and sustained a large laceration to the posterior area of his right hand. The injury had occurred at 1300, he transferred to the St. Cloud Hospital for sutures and returned at 1715. He had been given acetaminophen for pain and Trazadone for restlessness and agitation. Jennifer completed an assessment when she arrived on duty at 2300 and noted that he had pain rated nonverbally as a 9 out of 10 in the right hand from the wound obtained during the fall. She contacted the MOD and obtained an order for PRN hydrocodone every 6 hours, which eventually helped ease his pain.
These examples demonstrate exceptional kindness, compassion and astute nursing assessment on the part of Jen towards the Veterans, who have limited ability to describe their discomfort due to their diagnoses. She demonstrated empathy towards them and a desire to ease their suffering. When these patients could not directly request intervention due to cognitive issues, Jen was able to accurately assess the issue and advocated for them to receive proper treatment and relief from pain. This demonstrated a commitment to patient-centered care and she completed the proper assessment and reporting procedure to ensure they had relief from their pain. Although these residents were not able to voice their appreciation, Jen was recommended for an award by her co-workers and is to be commended for the special connection she made with these residents and her determination to ensure their pain was treated appropriately.