Recently, our Mitchell Rehab Team was challenged in caring for a patient with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He had developed a cerebral hemorrhage after falling in another facility, and now presented with very difficult behaviors. He perseverated on certain tasks like getting up and walking, and he became verbally abusive and inappropriate. Although we had a sitter for this patient with TBI, his safe and effective care required the collaborative efforts of the entire rehab team, including their significant commitment of time.
We treated him like he was family and "one of our own". Staff not assigned to the patient took turns overseeing his care; nurses and techs ambulated him frequently to avoid falls; therapists calmed him when he was belligerent, and although he hit a few team members, they continued caring for him with excellence and compassion. The leadership team helped pacify him and assisted with his time-consuming meals; and security officers checked on him frequently. The Team also provided comfort and support for the patient’s wife, who shared how much it meant to her to receive a prayer from a PCT. The patient behaved more calmly with his wife present so we allowed her to stay at night, and as needed, to promote his participation in therapy.
When our patient no longer qualified medically to remain at our facility, the social worker found appropriate placement in a skilled nursing facility. On the day of transfer, the wife cried heavily and expressed great appreciation to the team. She stated, “everybody from the housekeeper, the therapists, the nursing staff, the doctor and social worker were not only excellent with what they do, but they showed their humanity to me and my husband. I cannot thank this hospital enough.”. It is our duty to take care of patients however they present to us. I commend the entire Mitchell Rehab Team for collectively and consistently sharing their humanity at the most difficult times while caring for this patient and advocating for his spouse. Sometimes, it’s not the result that matters, but the means to get there. I am very proud of the Team for being vessels of humanity for our patients and their family/caregivers.
Team Members Include:
Olan Deguzman, MPH, PT, Rehab Manager
Matthew Johnson, ONC (Certified Orthopedic Nurse), RN, Assistant Nurse Manager
Joann Baer, CCRN, RN, Case Manager
Rebecca Graves, RN
Jen Druda, Social Worker
Sharon Williams, OTA