Krystal McCluney

Krystal McCluney

Krystal McCluney, BSN, RN, CCRN

Neuro Intensive Care Unit
Banner University Medical Center Phoenix Campus
Phoenix, Arizona
United States
Krystal, however, was a rare RN who had a great relationship with the patient's mother. It was a matter of trust, rather than rapport.

I would like to recognize a very special nurse, Krystal McCluney. She's a 10th floor ICU nurse and had an impact on me right away through her leadership role with ICU Shared Leadership. She's deeply collaborative to all the team members and serves in extraordinary ways to make BUMCP a great place to work. As she's a night nurse, she's gone above and beyond her nightly duties to serve as a Co-Chairperson of ICU Shared Leadership, Co-Chair of the 2018 House Council committee, and the Co-Leader of a subcommittee called BUMCP4HOPE, a committee that plans events for Donate Life Month in April in collaboration with Donor Network of Arizona. She led BUMCP4HOPE team in April 2018 to go "Platinum," the highest prize won in a bingo-style game of events Donor Network annually puts on for increased organ, tissue and ocular donation awareness, education, and registrations. As the lead for this committee, she was invited and awarded as a Donor Champion (1 of 3 hospitals recognized) through Donor Network's Annual Champion's Recognition event at the Biltmore earlier this November on BUMCP's commitment during Donate Life Month. During our last meeting, Krystal shared with the group this wonderful recognition award not as an award that she won, but an award shared by all for the hard work and dedication made.

Her leadership qualities are stellar and have had a deep impact on the overall BUCMP culture. Her patient care has also been exquisite as well. One such example was a young man who arrived as a trauma patient with substantial brain injury to the neuro ICU. The patient was unstable due to high ICP's and intubated for much of his time with us to the dismay of his mother who was very distraught. She was hypervigilant, to say the least, and was always at bedside including nights, days and weekends. Several unanticipated events took place due to the nature of the patient's traumatic event and the mother became increasingly distressed. She shared his best chance of survival was her dedicated and sometimes belligerent advocacy. After one incident, the mother fired the neurosurgeon and became deeply challenging to work with. As a team, we did our best to support her, however, in our attempts to care for her the opposite often took place. She became more defensive and less trustworthy of the overall team and was deeply difficult to work with. Krystal, however, was a rare RN who had a great relationship with the patient's mother. It was a matter of trust, rather than rapport. Often rapport and empathy build trust, but for this mother, she needed to feel a nurse who reflected clinical excellence was the person she could trust. One evening at the end of the day shift rotation, I was supporting this dear woman in the waiting room. The mother had been reflecting on how difficult the staff had been that day. She was very distressed. She may have fired not only the neurosurgeon on the case but the other nurses who had cared for her. The mother pointed to Krystal when she walked by getting on shift for that night and said, "She's the one I like." I asked her why and she expressed, "She's open and honest about the situation. She doesn't sugar coat it. She prides herself in communication and education. She doesn't just come in here and do things. She tells me about my son and keeps me up to date. She makes a point to make sure that I'm aware of what's going and why she's doing things. Above all, she doesn't tell me to leave or take care of myself. She knows that my son is my life and doesn't push me away. She knows that I'm going to be by his side and that I'm watching like a hawk. She's not intimated by me and I'm not trying to scare her. I just want you people to understand that I'm here for my son and doing what any other mother would do." She turned and walked away, then said, "And she's funny too!"

Since then, Krystal has become an RP supporting the night nurses on the Neuro ICU. She exemplifies nursing excellence at many levels. She's deeply deserving of this recognition and we are lucky to have her as part of our BUMCP team.