I have observed Lisa Arnold for several months. She is always level headed, professional, kind, and caring. She greets each patient as if he or she is her first patient of the day. She is sunny, cheerful and the epitome of the high standards of Saint John’s Hospital.
When I first met Lisa, she wanted to work at Saint John’s and wanted to give the best possible care to all patients; that was years ago. Since that first meeting, Lisa has epitomized this and more. She provides kind and compassionate care to all of her patients as well as to staff. She always has a kind word for her coworkers and the Angels of the ER. She has been a leader in the implementations of the Stroke Program in the ED, and instrumental in ensuring the ED was successful in obtaining the Stroke Accreditation. Lisa is an excellent and willing preceptor, sharing her knowledge and expertise with new staff. Lisa puts the patients and their needs first. I always see her jump up and help no matter who it might be. Lisa competently carries the Charge Nurse phone, and helps her coworkers whenever she sees they are in need. She receives many compliments, regarding the compassionate care she gives to patients and their families, gently putting their fears and anxiety to rest. A patient came in and mentioned Lisa compassionately citing her care in lifting someone out of the car. She is a true DAISY Nurse who exemplifies extraordinary clinical care, leadership in her department, excellent communication skills, compassion and respect for her patients and outstanding advocacy for vulnerable patients.
Over the past two years, Lisa has taken the extra initiative to make the newly developed stroke program at Saint john’s a success. She was quickly and enthusiastically engaged in the development of the program and has been an instrumental source to many of patient success stories. For example, she has a solid understanding that stroke is a medical emergency. She facilitates rapid assessment and treatment of patients who can receive thrombolytic or endovascular therapy and helps her colleague nurses, who are less comfortable with the demanding task of managing a critical patient, with speed and expertise. Door to needle times are recognized as indicators of great success in stroke care, the faster we can treat someone, the higher probability their chance of a good outcome. Lisa was one of the nurses involved in our record time of treating a high-functioning, professional acute stroke patient in 17 minutes. We witnessed his symptoms melt away almost instantly and later learned that this time is the fastest time a patient in all of Providence California has received thrombolytic therapy.
We recently transitioned to the use of telestroke, in which a stroke specialist from Providence Oregon and Washington assesses our code stroke patients remotely. This technology is a huge advancement in the world of stroke, however, it is not perfect. A virtual examination can be achieved but it’s simply not the same as a face to face encounter. Lisa functioned as a telepresenter nurse for a code stroke patient in the ED who could not speak English. The teleneurologist felt the patient’s presentation was normal and the patient required no treatment. Lisa, however, well-versed in stroke assessment and inclusion/exclusion criteria for tPA, felt the physician missed out on subtle abnormalities such as his language deficits and did not take no for an answer. She professionally asked this provider to re-evaluate the patient with special attention to his language and indeed his language disturbance was noted. The physician then deemed the patient a tPA candidate and he rapidly returned to his baseline, thanks to Lisa’s advocacy.
There are many other examples I could share about Lisa’s work ethics that surpass her job description. Notably, she was a great representative from the ED who interacted with our initial Joint Commission stroke surveyor to showcase some the strengths of our program.
Lastly, I will share her accomplishments regarding her professional nursing advancement. Lisa has spent countless hours outside of work prepping for the Stroke Certified Registered Nurse, SCRN exam, and just this month became one of our first RNs to pass. She is a role model to her colleagues and an inspiration to many. I enjoy working with her and sharing with her anything from patient follow-ups to educational programs and resources because she is always looking to advance herself and simply because she has a caring heart. On behalf of the stroke team, Lisa Arnold is a shining example of what the DAISY Award represents and it is an honor to nominate her.
I really appreciate Lisa; she’s amazing with patients no matter what their situation is. Patients often tell me that she’s great and I agree.