Melissa is a Behavioral Health nurse with extraordinary skill. Through her strong initiative, effort, and clear communication style, her redirections to patients are never challenging or negative but reflect nonjudgmental flexibility and empathy that guides a patient to make better choices. Melissa helps the patients reduce frustration and anger through interventions of clear goal setting, acknowledgment or empathy.
One evening, sudden loud yelling and intermittent pounding on the staff office door began. It was the change of shift. An older female behavioral health patient was angry and frustrated. The unit lounge was full of visitors. The earlier morning staff had been providing the patient with support, options, and redirection. However, the patient remained agitated and ignored their suggestions. When the pounding started a 2nd time and nursing staff report was interrupted a few minutes later- Melissa, working the night shift, stood up and left the report room to assist in this patient's behavioral management, as well as reduce the risk for injury.
In this situation, in a timely manner, Melissa convinced this patient to stop yelling and stop disrupting the unit routine. She walked with her to a quiet place to talk. In her compassionate style, she educated the patient regarding options, attended to her concerns, while facilitating appropriate patient expected behaviors. As a coworker, this is not the first time I have witnessed Melissa step up with professionalism and initiative to use her de-escalation skills to provide a positive patient outcome and prevent injury, or a behavioral code situation. She problem solves quickly and with a flexibility that helps distressed patients feel recognized, comforted, and reassured.
Without delay Melissa always steps up to address a patient crisis in a timely manner, attends to individual details, communicates clear messages, providing for hope comfort and a safer environment every time the need arises.