The PACU had 3 overnight patients by 7:00 AM in addition to 2 patients expected to arrive from the OR by 7:30 AM. There were 2 RNs in the department. Tu Earp was caring for one of the overnight patients and the patient was ready to be discharged. The patient was a classy 93 year old from an assisted living facility. The transport was scheduled to arrive early. Tu Earp had asked her teammate to help her with getting the patient ready for Lake Howard transport to prevent delay and to be available to receive the post-op patients.
As the other nurse began to assist Tu with getting the patient ready, they were admiring the patient's beautiful pink angora sweater with pearl buttons. Tu told the patient that her top button was missing. The patient stated she was aware of it and has asked her family to please remove the button at the bottom of the sweater and put it at the top so she can close the neckline properly when it's cold. She said when her family comes to visit they never have time.
Also pressed for time, Tu asked the other nurse to finish getting the patient ready. Tu went out of her way to get out her own sewing kit and fixed the button on the sweater for the patient in a jiffy. With the sewing needle in the air, one of the surgeons even asked, "What is she doing?"
Needless to say, the patient couldn't thank Tu Earp enough for the compassionate care she received that day.