It was the start to one of those nights - the ones where we hardly have a minute to sit down or catch our breaths. Our entire unit was busy. Our patients were especially sick. I came in to find my patient was highly unstable and in the middle of an emergent decompensation. The medical and nursing teams were at his bedside doing a wonderful job of stabilizing him. When the dust finally settled and report was finished, I had a mountain of work ahead of me and a patient with a propensity for sudden and rapid decompensations. With other emergencies happening on the unit, I lacked an extra set of hands to help me get my patient settled in for the night. Monica had worked all day with a completely different assignment.
Monica knew how sick and busy my assignment was. When she stopped by my door to ask if I needed anything I was touched. I had one heck of a laundry list. However, she was on her way out. So I told her a couple of small supplies she could get me as I started to tackle what needed to be done. What I didn't expect was for her to come back with the supplies, roll up her sleeves, and start helping me chip away at my to-do list. She placed an NG tube, properly isolated my patient's pacing wires, and checked medications with me. This was more than enough. Then she saw that I had a very large and complicated drip change waiting for me. Without hesitation she started to work on it. She helped me do my drip change on three lumens - each with a time consuming cap change. When my patient became unstable during it, she was there to help. She drew up emergency medications for me and helped us stabilize once again. All in all she did not go home until 10 o'clock at night - three hours after her shift ended.
Monica is truly deserving of this award. I am still touched by her selflessness from that night. She saw that her team of nurses were in need and without any hesitation jumped in. She embodies all of the qualities a nurse should. Her kindness, generosity and compassion for our patients are an inspiration to us all.