Kristin MacDonald

Kristin MacDonald

Kristin MacDonald, RN

7 Blue
WellStar Kennestone Hospital
Marietta, Georgia
United States

One day recently, the census along with the acuity of our patients was uncharacteristically high. We had 2 patients who were reaching the end of their lives. For us, that scenario isn’t the norm as we don’t often have patients who are not expected to walk out the hospital doors on their own accord. On this day, we had 2 patients who were actively dying. At the beginning of the shift, one of our nurses got word that she was assigned to one of these patients.
Kristen MacDonald, a staff nurse on 7 blue could sense the trepidation and fear in her coworker’s voice after she got report from the off going nurse. Selflessly, she instructed the nurse that she would be more than happy to swap patients in order to provide care and comfort to the dying patient who was nearing the end of life. Kristen then worked tirelessly during the day to make sure this patient had all of his needs met. Even though the patient was in and out of confusion, she established a bond with the patient. His eye would twinkle when she came in the room. As the shift progressed, he grew more and more obtunded. Even though Kristen had a full patient load, she made sure she took moments out of her day to make sure he was comfortable. Later on in the shift, the patient’s breathing became more labored and he was deteriorating even more.
She made calls to his family who were not able to come in, Kris stated “I don’t want him to die alone; someone has got to be with him”. Kris notified the patient’s sister and asked if she could come in as his condition was worsening. The sister refused and stated “I already said my goodbyes yesterday; I am not coming back to the hospital”. Kris didn’t let this deter her, she arranged for the other staff to keep an eye out for her patients while she stayed in the room, holding the patient’s hand and talking to him until he took his last breath.
Prior to this day, she had never met the patient before, but one could not tell as she compassionately and tenderly cared for him as if he was her own family. Because of this, I would like to nominate Kristen MacDonald, RN for the DAISY Award!