November 2020
Sharon
Meacham
,
RN
Med/Surg Unit
UVMHN - Porter Medical Center

 

 

 

Sharon has used her training, education, and compassion to think outside the box with how to care for this patient with supportive walks activities, and appropriate engagement based on this patient's disease.

Over the past several weeks Sharon has demonstrated excellence in her leadership on Med/Surg as well as extraordinary patient-centered care at the bedside. Med/Surg has been managing a patient with dementia who has struggled with behavioral challenges. In addition to her regular responsibilities as a nursing supervisor (and managerial responsibilities while the nursing manager has been out), she has gone above and beyond to meet this patient's needs with time attention skill, and patience. She has used her training, education, and compassion to think outside the box with how to care for this patient with supportive walks activities, and appropriate engagement based on this patient's disease. She has led by example role modeling for staff the ways to effectively support and care for this patient.

For example, she verbalized and facilitated conversation about this patient's personhood encouraging others to recognize his strengths, the things he could still do, and separation of the disease from the person. Another example is Sharon's attention to this patient's environment ensuring that he had an environment of cleanliness, comfort, and safety, often attending to these needs herself by advocating for familiar items for the patient cleaning and organizing the space, and meeting him with consistency. She did all of this despite her regular workload and with ongoing challenging behaviors that could be quite intense at times.

When his care needs began to surpass the capacity of the med/surg nursing team, Sharon was an outlet for her staff to share their frustrations and she also advocated for his care needs to be met in a setting with greater capacity. This has been a stressful time in healthcare and when adding on the additional stress of a patient struggling with challenging behaviors in an acute care setting, Sharon truly rose to the occasion for this patient and her team. I am extremely grateful to work with such a strong compassionate and skilled nursing leader.