Rachel Dohnalek

Rachel Dohnalek, RN, BSN

TNICU
UPMC Hamot
Erie, Pennsylvania
United States

Rachel took care of a 24-year-old patient who suffered from a fatal accident. Throughout this time, she showed the utmost compassion and went out of her way to support the family during such a difficult time. This was especially noticed the last night, in which the family had made the decision to allow CORE to evaluate for organ donation. Since this requires a lot of coordination prior to proceeding, this took a period of time that became difficult for the family to continue to prolong an already challenging time that made the decision even more stressful.

Rachel was able to talk to the family, using activities such as bringing in blue and green pieces of paper in which she had them write adjectives that they would use to describe their loved one. She then taped these up on the board in his room and used this as a time to help the family through some grief and positively honor the patient. Had she not gone above and beyond, the family may have had a different memory of their experience and the patient may not have proceeded to donate and save the lives of others.