Sarah Polchow
December 2017
Pediatric ICU
University of Virginia Health System
United States




Sarah is the epitome of extraordinary pediatric nursing. This evening I witnessed first hand her exemplary clinical skill and compassionate care. Her infant patient had been through multiple life-threatening emergencies in the past 48 hours, and this evening Sarah acutely recognized the subtle changes in this patient's assessment. Her expert clinical skill discovered the slight changes in his clinical status, and she quickly alerted the team of these signs of impending crisis. Because of her expert clinical and communication skills, the team was able to intervene early to prevent a further emergency. Not only did her clinical skills have an immense impact on this patient's outcome, she went above and beyond to care for this patient's mother. Recognizing the mother's emotional stress, she patiently answered questions and provided comforting education on the events of the evening. She allowed the mother to assist with bathing and cleaning the patient, helping the mother feel more involved in her son's care as a valued team member. Sarah also created artwork for the mother out of the child's footprint, creating positive memories for the family in the middle of a very dark time in their lives.
Though her care this evening was extraordinary, Sarah consistently operates at this level of excellence, routinely going above and beyond to provide personalized, compassionate care for her patients. She creates artwork for almost each of her patients and is routinely recognized by her peers as an excellent team member. Her care is nothing but extraordinary.