Karen Copeland
May 2018
Screening Center
Capital Health Regional Medical Center
United States




We would like to take the time to recognize Karen Copeland for being an integral part of the recovery process for a patient’s family in the neuro ICU. A patient arrived at the emergency department with a devastating brain hemorrhage and was admitted to the neuro ICU. The patient was married with two teenage children. Three days after the admission the patient and his family were scheduled to go on their yearly family vacation. The family was devastated by the patient’s medical condition and was unsure if the vacation should continue. The wife decided to send the children on the vacation with other family members and remain at the hospital to stay with her husband. There was a period of time where the patient’s survival of the injury was in question. The patient remained in the neuro ICU on a ventilator with many devices monitoring his brain function. The wife had reached out to the unit manager asking if there was a way that the children could come and see their father. The manager and the wife had a lengthy conversation about bringing the children in to see their father and how would the emotional and psychological support be provided for the children. The case manager in the neuro ICU was not specialized in the needs of children. The manager reached out to Karen Copeland, nursing supervisor of the screening and crisis center, to determine, who if anyone, at Capital Health would be able to help support the teenage children.

Karen came to the neuro ICU and spent over an hour with the patient’s wife to determine exactly what the expectations and the needs of the family were going to be. Karen decided that she would be available as the support for the teenage children. Karen came in on a Saturday when the children returned from vacation. Karen spent time with the children individually and addressed their fears and concerns prior to bringing them into the neuro ICU to see their father. Karen stayed with the children during their visit.

Karen stayed in touch with the patient’s wife for the remainder of his several week admission to ensure that the family had all of the emotional and psychological support that they required. One day Karen brought in a coffee for the patient’s wife when she knew that she would be spending her night in the hospital. Karen made it a point to see the patient and the patient’s wife right before his discharge to a long-term care facility. The patient was readmitted to the hospital within 24 hours of leaving with complications. Karen immediately came to the neuro ICU to ensure that the patient’s wife had the support she needed. Because of all of Karen’s diligence and dedication to this case, the family was able to cope with the situation. The family would not have adjusted as well after the injury if it had not been for Karen. Karen’s collaboration with the ICU staff has been imperative to the patient’s family coping with this devastating brain injury. Karen is an amazing asset to the Capital Health team.