Sarah McGeathy
June 2020
Observation Unit
Tampa General Hospital
United States




I would like to recognize Sarah and how she handled our patient who is currently on our floor.

This patient is deaf, legally blind, and has several psych/behavioral issues. We have had to call several Code Bert's on her since she was admitted. The patient is not good at sign language and the video interpreter was also having difficulty understanding her as well the previous day when I had gone to the get the video interpreter rover myself. She kept telling me that she relies on reading lips and she cannot do that when we are all wearing masks. She understood why but kept getting frustrated that she was not getting answers to her concerns and had no way of communicating with us. On top of that, her phone has several interpreter apps that she uses...her phone was not getting any Wi-Fi signal and I was not able to help her utilize that avenue of communication. A lot of her concerns seemed to me, that she was not given the why or it sounded like no one took time to explain things in a way she can understand. For example, she told me she was told by a doctor, that she had a liver mass but after doing a chart review found that she has hepatosplenomegaly.

One RN, Sarah McGeathy, (a new nurse as well) took the time to figure out a better way to communicate with this patient. Through some creativity, Sarah decided to try using Microsoft Word with the computer in the room and increased the font size for the patient to read and understand what was being said. Sarah also called Pharmacy several times to get explanations on several medications to ensure she is educated and understands that the dosages here are equivalent to what she takes at home. She also ensured that all her allergies (a whole page of allergies were given to her by the patient) were documented in Epic. During her shift of care, the patient remained calm and cooperative. I gave her kudos for finding a way.

My team has all come to me to let me know this patient is very challenging and Sarah was the only one who wanted to maintain her. I feel that Sarah went above and beyond with this patient and found a way to keep her calm, took time to provide education to her, even among the challenging communication issues and behavioral issues.