Kelsey is a newer RN on our unit, having graduated just last spring, but she has the professionalism and grace of someone with much more experience. Shortly after completing her orientation, Kelsey was assigned to care for a patient whom we had all come to know and like during his several weeks stay on our unit. While the patient's diagnosis was terminal and he had recently converted to DNR status, he was by no means considered an unstable patient and was still walking the halls, talking with his family, and making jokes with staff.
The night Kelsey was assigned to care for this man, he took a very unexpected and drastic downward turn and by midnight it was clear that he was not going to live much longer. After activating the rapid response team and assessing the situation, Kelsey contacted the patient's wife, who was at home about an hour away and updated her as to her husband's decline. The patient passed away just two hours later with his wife and children at his side. We see a lot of end of life patients on our unit, but it is never easy when a patient passes away, especially when it is not expected. Kelsey did a fantastic job that night of providing comfort to the patient and his loved ones as his life ended. Even though this event was hard on her, Kelsey did not appear outwardly shaken by any of it and was the ultimate professional in her interactions with the family, offering them kindness and support at a time when they needed it most.
I have also had the pleasure of witnessing Kelsey interact with nursing students and even though she is still new herself, she is always willing to take the time to teach a new skill or task to a student nurse and she does it in a way that ensures they will remember what they are learning. She has already shown promise in working with students in a more formal capacity and will be a fantastic preceptor in the near future. I like to have a new grad speak to my nursing student clinical group and this semester I chose Kelsey. After her talk, my students couldn't stop talking about how excited they are to really get out into the world and work as nurses. Kelsey has a drive to be thorough as a nurse and learn all she can while providing excellent care to her patients. If she doesn't know something, she is always willing to ask. Even when the shift hectic, one wouldn't guess it from her put together attitude and ability to prioritize tasks and manage her patients. Kelsey's superiors can rest assured the patients are safe and comfortable in her care.