Ly Cao

Ly Cao

Ly Cao, RN

Transitional Care Unit
VCU Health System
Richmond, Virginia
United States

...Several weeks ago when an older female patient came in for cardiac medication. Ly was conducting her assessment as I was collecting vital signs, performing an EKG, and establishing I.V. access. When asked certain questions about her home life, the patient at first responded with answers that indicated all was well, but Ly picked up on the fact that this was not the case. Ly began to gently and carefully uncover more, posing similar questions in different ways to help the patient open up about what sounded like an abusive relationship with her significant other. I felt that Ly was quick to pick up on an uncomfortable and difficult situation that the patient had been dealing with for a very long time, and the patient expressed that she was both surprised and relieved to have the chance to confront it. The patient seemed to feel that because no one had pressed the issue before, and because it had been going on for such a long time, the ship had sailed with regards to getting help. Ly reassured her that she cared, that she could empathize with her, and that it was important to know that when she felt ready, there were resources available to her to assist.

In my opinion, Ly displayed an incredible amount of intuition that went above and beyond the typical components of patient assessment. I believe that she allowed and trusted this intuition to motivate her, exposing in the process the long held secret of a patient who thought there was no potential for resolution. Ly offered the patient compassion, and initiated movement for the first time in the patient's life towards counseling and solutions to equip her to confront domestic abuse being perpetrated by the patient's husband. I was moved by Ly's persistence, and the soft way in which she advocated for this patient who clearly needed it, and was grateful for the interest in her situation.

The second significant way in which I feel Ly positively impacted a patient was very recent. Ly was tasked with caring for a drug load patient who was experiencing short term memory loss. Said patient repeatedly became very concerned and nervous about her stay in the T.C.U. as she would periodically forget that she had been seen by physicians, assessed, and given her prescribed medications. Ly, realizing that the patient had a background in Speech Pathology, created a memory book for her that included explanations of what had gone on to date, and what the patient could expect in the near future. This type of tool is one Ly felt the patient would be familiar with given her prior experiences, and she thought that it would also be helpful to the family members who came to visit. In addition, Ly put a note on the door of the patient's room advising visitors to ask the patient for her memory log, and to contribute to it.

Since Ly decided to employ this technique, the patient has been much more at ease, and has been able to refer to the memory book whenever she cannot remember what has been done or what has yet to be accomplished. Ly was extremely busy, and yet took the time to create this material for the patient using great detail, and she patiently explained information that I know she had imparted at least a dozen times by that point. The patient appears to have responded quite nicely to this intervention and based on my interactions with her today she seems to be much more comfortable.