Jenny Nguyen

Jenny Nguyen, RN

University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, Colorado
United States

RN Nominee Name Jenny Nguyen, RN, Operating Room
Nominated By Amy Burant, RN, Neuro ICU
Date 1/20/2010
Describe a specific patient situation in which you observed this nurse provide expert care.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the Neuro ICU had a patient who became a candidate for organ donation after cardiac death. I am nominating Jenny Nguyen for the Daisy Award for her amazing work behind the scenes to ensure that the patient and family were treated with dignity and that the experience of the patient’s death would be as peaceful as possible. The night was obviously crazy down in the OR with several late cases already running and anticipation of several transplant cases from a donor at another hospital. Jenny took the time to come up to the Neuro ICU to partner with the Donor Alliance representatives and Neuro ICU nurses as well as to meet the family and patient. She volunteered to get the staff scrubs and the family gowns ahead of time so that there would be no delay in caring for the patient in the OR. I have never had anyone offer this or be so concerned with conveying professionalism to the family in this situation. In addition, she came back up to the ICU to check in with us yet again and wanted to make sure that the family had been offered the services of a chaplain if they desired.

Once we transported the patient down to the OR and the initial positioning and preparation had been done by the surgical team, Jenny ensured that all of the surgeons understood the timing and that the family would be given their privacy. Furthermore, she placed surgical towels over the windows so that there would be no prying eyes in this family’s moment of grief. She also warned the orderlies that there was to be no one entering or leaving this OR in order not to disturb the family. Prior to the family arriving, she turned the lights down and manipulated the spotlights so that the lighting would not be distracting to the family. After the patient expired, she made sure that the family had left the OR prior to any of the physicians coming back into the room or any activity resuming.

Jenny showed an incredible level of professionalism, compassion, and initiative during this case. I know that the family had very little interaction with Jenny but her actions on their behalf were innumerable. As is so often the case, nurses work in the shadows, away from the spotlight, to ensure an optimal outcome for their patients. This is exactly what happened that night in the OR. While the family will never know or recognize the actions this nurse took, Jenny Nguyen ensured that their final experience saying goodbye to their son, brother and husband would be a peaceful, dignified moment. For this she deserves our recognition.