Kayla Coffey has been a nurse on our unit since July 2017 and has been off orientation since November 2017. We have had a lot of very high acuity patients on our unit that she has taken care of, but I would like to share the most recent.
We had a patient that was a very young post-operative open-heart CABG that had unfortunately developed respiratory complications. This patient had many episodes of instability over the course of her stay. On this night as soon as she received bedside report, the patient began to decompensate and was not oxygenating adequately. Along with respiratory, Kayla worked tirelessly to improve the patient’s oxygen levels. Unfortunately, we were unable to succeed in this effort and we had to call in the physician. The pulmonologist came in to evaluate the patient and decided to discuss with the surgeon the need to place the patient on ECMO.
Due to our facility capabilities, this meant the patient would need to be transferred to another facility. Kayla worked tirelessly to stabilize this patient prior to transport. She assisted the surgeon with placing new central lines at the bedside and communicating with UNC to prepare for transport. She also made sure to call the family and update them on the patient’s change in status and need for transfer to a higher level of care.
Upon UNC Air Care Transport Team arrival, Kayla continued to stay hands on. She gave a full detailed report to the transport team and ECMO specialist. She facilitated obtaining equipment needed to place the patient on ECMO. Kayla never lost confidence and maintained a very high level of professional care and communication with physicians, family, and transport team. She helped to assist the surgeon to cannulate the patient at the bedside, so the patient could be placed on ECMO prior to transport. Prior to the patient leaving our facility the patient’s oxygen levels had greatly improved.
The UNC transport team, as well as our on-call perfusionist that was at bedside both, expressed to me how much of a great job Kayla and our CVT team had done in providing patient care and facilitating transport. This patient assignment would have been difficult for any ICU nurse with experience, let alone a recent new graduate. She exceeds all expectations and provides excellent nursing care to all patients she is assigned.