Eddy was participating in clinical on the pediatric floor. When making assignments, I noticed that there was a 4-year-old patient who spoke Spanish as her primary language. The child’s father and uncle spoke some English, but the mother did not. Overnight staff had been relying on the patient’s 8-year-old sister to serve as interpreter.
The patient had been admitted the evening before after the family witnessed seizure-like activity. Obviously this is a very frightening event, and the parents were anxious. The child was scheduled to have more diagnostic testing performed on the day that we were present on the floor, including an EEG and an MRI with sedation.
Eddy willingly took this child as his assignment for the day. Thanks to his fluency in Spanish, he was able to communicate a large amount of information to the family that they may not have understood prior to his arrival. You could see their relief as they were able to ask questions and get answers in a language they understood. Eddy took the mother and sister to the family nutrition area and helped them pick out items for breakfast. He stayed close to the patient’s room throughout the shift and helped them with anything they needed, no matter how small.
The patient was scheduled for a sedated MRI during the time that we would be at lunch. Eddy took a brief break, and then accompanied the child and family to the MRI area where he interpreted for the physician providing the sedation (Dr. S.) as well as the MRI technologist. Dr. S. later said that his assistance was invaluable in obtaining a quality MRI. Another physician took Eddy into another patient’s room, where the mother primarily spoke Spanish, and utilized him to interpret information about the child’s diagnosis and treatment plan.
After the students were dismissed for the day, I saw Eddy in his patient’s room, saying good-bye. I asked the uncle if Eddy had “done good.” He replied that Eddy was not only going to be a great nurse, but he was going to be such a help to the Hispanic community who often did not understand what was happening in medical situations.
The staff RN and Dr. S. both completed “PARTNERS Spirit” cards to thank Eddy for his hard work with this family.
I was impressed with Eddy’s willingness to go above and beyond for this patient and her family. He showed true compassion for their situation and did what he could to improve it. This trait will make him a valuable asset to the nursing community. We are so proud of him!