I have had the honor and privilege of being precepted by Mary Jacobson, RN for a couple of months now. I was very nervous about going back into the main Emergency Department, as I had been working in the Chest Pain Observation Unit. I strive to be as perfect of a nurse as Mary is! Mary is always positive and finds the best in everything she does. She has an attitude that cannot be taught, projecting her beliefs and values about whom she is, who she works for and all her coworkers. Her values shine through in the quality of her work. She constantly has a proactive attitude, and takes initiative with all things and never waits for anyone to tell her what to do. She is continuously prepared for whatever comes next.
Mary is continuously positive and kind. Every day she takes her assignment and states, “I am so excited; this is going to be such a good day.” One day at triage a young man arrived who was very depressed and overdosed on Tylenol the previous week, he was already jaundiced. Mary, after introducing herself said, “I am so sorry about what you are going through, we are going to try to help you feel better.” We proceeded to take the young man back to A2 and place him in paper scrubs. Through those simple words I could see a ray of hope in his eyes that was not there when he walked in. I think we often forget that people don’t really want to be in the Emergency Department but sometimes it is their only choice.
There was a middle aged man, who appeared anxious, that had been to the Emergency Department three times that week. Mary had him as a patient the third time. He was having excruciating mid chest and epigastric pain. He had been ruled out for a heart attack the previous two visits and we started the process again. Mary began by explaining everything in detail, he visibly relaxed and stated, “Thank you for caring. I just know there is something wrong”. She administered O2, NTG, a GI cocktail, IV Protonix, Morphine and still could not put a dent in his pain. Mary was in close contact with the ED physician, reporting his progress and continued pain. When the lab results came back, his heart troponin was positive, which means he had or was having a heart attack. He of course did not want this diagnosis, but was relieved to have an idea where all his pain was coming from. Cardiology came to see him, scheduled him for a heart catheterization and admitted him. When Mary took him to his room, he could not thank her enough for her caring heart. People know when you sincerely care.
That same day, we were back up for the trauma rooms. While taking care of the cardiac patient Mary was the recorder for a young man who was hit by a car. While recording she was able to calm him with her quiet tranquil words. While completing all this, she also allows time to explain to me the extensive code trauma documentation.
On the same day we took care of a 22 month old with abdominal pain. I must admit, pediatrics is something I have never been comfortable with and I am not comfortable having to place IV’s or draw blood for a pediatric patient. Mary was able to calm the child and parents and place the IV. After drawing her blood, we were then able to give her a little sedation to help her relax, so we could take her to CT. All the while she was caring for the baby; she was explaining to me, her preceptee, about how cautious to be while sticking a baby and how to be vigilant with IV fluids and sedation. She gave me some information she always carries with her about fluid rates and normal vital signs for pediatric patients. The baby did well, had a negative CT and was discharged to see a specialist within the next week. The parents were so grateful and satisfied with the care their child received.
We then moved on to become back up for a Code Stroke. Mary documented as the primary nurse started new lines, checked the patient, started TPA, did neurological checks, etc. We then took the patient to Interventional Radiology for a procedure to save her neurological function. We were there for over 30 minutes prior to anesthesia taking over. It wasn’t our patient assignment but she stayed and helped get the patient settled and made sure everything was in order. Mary is so patient and caring. She is also always respectful and courteous to everyone she meets.
I could continue on about the amazing things Mary has done. I have learned so much and my goal is to be as perfect a nurse as Mary. It is a lofty goal, but anything could be attainable with hard work. She is honest, dependable, and always positive. She has a positive, proactive attitude and is always willing to work her shift and extras. She also uses down time productively and makes sure everything is stocked and clean and ready for the next patient.
I don’t know how she does it, every shift, every time. As an orientee, I am extremely grateful for all she does and all she stands for.