Renee Trudeau, RN epitomizes a genuine affinity to compassion. When adjectives such as nurturing, compassionate, caring, kind and altruistic are used, her peers, providers, and coworkers all say Renee comes first to mind. Renee embodies compassion in all actions. As a colleague, she will stop and ask nurses and clinical technicians if there is anything she can do to help them. If an emergent situation was to arise she will stand by a novice nurse and guide them towards achieving a safe, quality outcome for the patient. If a patient's family is at the bedside she shares her compassion with them.
Renee's compassion is boundless, and this is encompassed within her desire to provide safe and quality outcomes for her patients. In the role of a charge nurse, she will review charts for unusual orders and procedures so she can prepare the nurses in advocating for their patients. She will encourage them to ask the what, when, how and why and then guides them to ensure safety is a priority. Renee is someone who cares not just for the patient and their families but also her peers and her providers. Her peers describe her as someone who insists on getting and giving bedside report that includes the patient. She is a role model for sitting at the bedside and building a rapport with the patient and their families.
Renee exemplifies compassion when she cries with a patient, holds the family members hand as they hear difficult news. She also shares the same by going above and beyond and bringing in teamwork and fun during her workday so her peers can learn and support each other. She is vigilant of her environment and always willing to lend a helping hand or a shoulder to her peers when they need a friend. Renee is a role model, someone whose actions demonstrate what it means to be compassionate and she does so by advocating for her patients, preventing unsafe admissions, spending time getting to know her patients, sitting with her patients holding their hands and caring to know how they feel.
Renee's peers describe her as someone who has a "let's get it done" mindset, someone who has "patience", is "selfless", believes in the greater good and is willing to listen to and understand what they are asking before providing a solution. Her patients describe her using statements such as "genuine", "someone I trust caring for me", "great listener", "Renee is someone who cares about how I feel", "willing to go the extra mile" and "empathetic".
An example comes to mind of a very busy night when staffing was not to grid and admissions were rolling from the Emergency Room. At this time a patient with behavioral challenges became angry and agitated. There were several visitors on the unit expressing concerns to this behavior and the new graduate nurse caring for the behavioral patient was overwhelmed. Renee, having a busy workload herself, was able to step in deescalate the behavioral patient, comfort the family while mentoring and supporting the graduate nurse. Amidst all of this was another patient on the unit who was on comfort care. She was crying, scared and alone. Renee then took time to sit with her, hold her hand, pray with her and comfort her. She did all of this, without ever expressing herself how stressful or challenging the competing priorities may have been. This event highlights Renee's ability to show compassion while advocating for the patient on the unit and support her peers to ensure quality and safety in care delivery.
Renee lives for the special moments and connections she has with her patients and families. She does it so well on a daily basis that pinpointing one event or incident is very challenging. It was a busy night on the unit, with several confused patients, fall alarms and several novice nurses. Renee was in the charge nurse role that night. The unit was busy and everyone was busy performing patient care when a loud scream was heard. Staff rushed to the room of this patient. The patient had a complete mental status change, the novice nurse who was the patient's RN was asking questions trying to grasp as to what had occurred and to make sense of what she was presented with. Renee stopped the line, ensured patient safety as a priority and started assessing the patient's vital signs. Immediately she identified the patient was unable to breathe and oxygen levels were dropping. She grabbed the oxygen mask and placed it on the patient while comforting the patient. She directed another RN to call a rapid response (RRT) while delegating another nurse to round on patients on the unit to ensure their safety. Renee stayed at the bedside, documenting extensively and learning more about this patient. Just as the RRT team arrived, the patient lost pulse and compressions were started. The RRT changed to a CODE. Renee stayed at the bedside and was able to support the novice nurse, advocate for the patient and document thoroughly and extensively on the patient. It was soon decided that the patient was to be transferred to an ICU for needing a higher level of care.
Renee's advocacy didn't end at the patient's transfer, she stayed in touch with the care team and discovered the patient has been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (PE). She reviewed the chart with the novice nurse identifying how the chest x-ray did not conclude this but the CT scan confirmed a PE. Reflecting back to the event and barriers in workflow, Renee asked all staff to check each room for suction equipment and report back to her if any were missing. Then she notified unit leadership and material management of the supplies and equipment that were not easily obtainable to ensure availability for when the next code was to be called and to promote safety in care delivery. This was evidenced-based nursing.
Renee is often recognized on discharge phone calls and patient rounds done by the leadership team. Even if it's a simple matter of them being upset that they are in an observation status, she helps them gain a better understanding of their disease process, any new medications they may be receiving, diet, exercise, and even resources within the community. She gives them confidence that their care is no different in observation than on any other unit and provides them exceptional care.
It takes a great deal of compassion to care about those you work with and to take the time to make a difference in someone else's life, Renee is one such person.
A middle-aged woman with bilateral above the knee amputation was admitted in the early evening on the unit. When Renee finished receiving report, she walked in and introduced herself to the patient. Discussing with her the plan of care and pain medication regimen. Renee built a relationship of trust, integrity, and compassion with this patient. However, as the night progressed, the patient began getting restless, visible spasms were noted by Renee. Renee proceeded to medicate her with prn medications that the doctor had ordered. 30 minutes into the administration Renee went in to assess her pain again, the patient complained of pain 8/10. Renee repositioned her in hope to alleviate some discomfort and stayed at her bedside comforting her, hoping to alleviate some of the anxiety the patient may have been feeling. She reiterated to the patient of the available prn medications she could get and the patient told her that one of them did nothing for her pain. Renee spoke to the provider several times during the proceeding hours to obtain orders to help the patient achieve pain relief and reduce the spasm in the upper legs. Patient felt that if she was given IV Dilaudid it would help her as that worked for her in the past, the provider was adamant that he would not order that and was willing to try IV valium. So Renee sat with the patient helping her understand why Valium might help her and encouraged her to try that so she could get some relief. The Valium helped the spasms but her pain was still increasing and by this time it was 9/10. The patient was distressed and restless. Renee reviewed the patient chart thoroughly and identified that somewhere hidden within the electronic health record was a notation stating that the patient took Dilaudid at home for pain relief. She contacted the MD, providing him with this information hoping to equip him with knowledge of home medications to help explain the reason behind the patient's request. Reluctantly, but after review, the MD ordered the medication. He also told Renee that she was calling him too much and it couldn't continue, and this was enough. Renee politely responded to the provider stating that she understood why he may feel this way, but it was her role to advocate for the patient and their needs. So, until the patient's needs were met and she was comfortable she would request his assessment and intervention. Renee told the provider that together they had a responsibility to listen to, to care for, and help treat the patient. Later in the night the provider called Renee and apologized for his response and at this time Renee was able to update that now the patient had gotten relief when IV Dilaudid was given and able to rest. Renee's desire to make a difference and to not give up is what helped this patient move their pain score from a 9/10 to an acceptable level where she could rest and get some sleep. The next day patient expressed her trust and relief in knowing Renee was her nurse because she knew Renee would advocate and care for her like no other. The ability to critically think through this situation and the ease with which she advocated for her patient is monumental for the nursing profession and Renee does this all with such excellence and compassion.