Polly Hansen

Polly Hansen, RN

Labor and Delivery
UCLA HEALTH (CA)
Los Angeles, California
United States

There was a patient in Labor and Delivery who was having an inevitable AB. These parents have tried for several years to conceive and had just had a prior miscarriage. At 19 6/7 weeks, their physician informed them that there was no hope to hold on to this pregnancy. The risk to the mother would be too high and if the infant survived, he would suffer from long term complications from severe prematurity such as intra-ventricular brain hemorrhage, severe respiratory distress syndrome or cerebral palsy. The parents chose to allow Mother Nature to take its course.
The parents were grief stricken. Polly was the AN1 that day. Due to UCLA hospital policy regarding Staff Request for Re-Assignment due to cultural values, ethics and religious beliefs it was very difficult for Polly to assign this patient. Polly understood the necessity of the medical regimen in order to protect the well being of the mother, therefore, she decided to assume this assignment. Polly assisted and followed physicians order to help provide the medical support necessary in order to prevent the patient from possibly developing severe complications such as chorioamnionitis. Polly was very supportive and spent most of her shift inside the patient’s room providing emotional support to both the patient and the husband during this very upsetting time. It was apparent to me that Polly was obviously grief stricken and distraught as well but she was able to put her feelings aside to help the parents cope during this time and she gave them the opportunity to say good bye. She gave the parents the opportunity to hold and touch their baby, took photos and footprints and identified the baby by name. She respected their feelings, thoughts, beliefs and their individual requests during and post delivery.
Polly is very aware of the importance of Perinatal Loss and the Grieving Process and has made this her priority as a process improvement for the Labor and Delivery Unit. She consistently demonstrates her commitment to caring and understands the importance of grieving and providing grief support. She worked diligently to develop the Perinatal Loss Guidelines to help educate and guide all nurses to helping the patient and their families during Perinatal Loss and the bereavement process.
Dealing with death and dying is not a typical role of the Labor and Delivery’s Nurse. One of the primary benefits of being a Perinatal nurse is that our role typically entails working with healthy patients. Helping a mother prepare for one of the most important roles of her life can be satisfying, and the birthing experience is a joyful event that Perinatal nurses have the privilege of sharing. Not all pregnancies are expected or wanted, and not all of them result in positive outcomes. Perinatal nurses inevitably share the pain of miscarriages, unexpected health problems involving the mother or baby and maternal or infant death. Though the number of losses may be fewer than those experienced by other types of nurses especially those working in a Level 3 or High Risk Maternity Ward, the loss of a child is one of the most difficult to bear.
As the UD, I know Nurse Polly Hansen and her role as a nurse and I am very aware of her Nursing abilities. On March, 6th, 2012, Polly affirmed what I have known during my two years here at UCLA, she is a nurse that is compassionate, empathetic, dedicated to her patients their families and to her profession. She is a nurse that clearly practices the UCLA Vision: Healing humankind one patient at a time…. I truly believe that Polly deserves the DAISY Award. As a staff Nurse and in her current role as an AN1, she consistently demonstrates nursing excellence through her clinical expertise, and compassionate care to all of her patients.