Teresa Hudec, RN from MSICU consistently gives that extra bit of care to her patients. She always has a sweet smile and calm demeanor when interacting with both the patient and the family members which allows them to feel at ease while communicating their needs and feelings to her.
She recently took care of a patient who has been in the MSICU since August after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor and has experienced quite a few setbacks in his recovery process. He has been in ICU for almost two months and having a difficult time safely weaning from the ventilator. The wife has been vigilantly at the bedside watching her husband’s health struggles. It was apparent to Teresa that the strain of the situation was taking a toll on both of them. She spoke honestly and with great empathy to them about their situation.
After caring for him several times she realized that he needed a strong patient advocate to work with the providers to devise a plan to help wean him from the ventilator and progress with his recovery. On one particular shift when I was working side by side with Teresa, I stopped what I was doing because I was so impressed with her patient advocacy as she addressed the ICU team during their morning rounds. She explained that, although it is important to strive to meet benchmark goals in this patient’s recovery, we still need to tailor our care plan to meet the individual patient’s needs. Teresa helped the team develop a consistent patient-centered plan that implemented with great success. He has since weaned from the ventilator, tolerating trach collar during the day sitting up in a chair. The wife has become quite fearful of every little noise or movement her husband made because she feared they meant another setback for him. Teresa was able to encourage the wife to talk about these feelings. This has empowered his wife and she is now learning about how to participate in his care. One example was that the wife was nervous when her husband would cough. Teresa explained that this was a good thing for him that he could cough and that she could help by suctioning his mouth with a yankaur to remove the secretions. With Teresa’s encouragement, she is now relaxed and comfortable with assisting in her husband’s care, such as ROM and oral care.
She is a wonderful role model for her colleagues as to what ICU nurse should be; knowledgeable, caring, compassionate. She gives all of her patients that extra TLC and I am proud to be both her friend and co-worker.