Teamwork got an out-of-state patient back on her feet, then safely on her way.
NH+C honors select employees each year as part of our Do The Next Right Thing initiative that empowers every individual on staff to help provide the best experience possible for patients, guests, and each other. We're proud to honor this team of colleagues for their foresight and practical support of a patient in the hospital, and on the road.
The woman was driving through the area when she started to feel unwell. She pulled over and called 911; an ambulance brought her to the Emergency Department. She left her car flashers on, there on the side of the highway.
She spent the night in Med/Surg, where nurse Paula Supon, RN and hospitalist Berit Amundson, MD cared for her. At discharge the next morning, Paula realized the car might not start, since its flashers were on all night. Paula also suggested it would be easier for the patient to be discharged with medication in hand, rather than a prescription that would be tough to fill while traveling.
“That’s what’s wonderful about our nursing staff: They really get to know the patients,” Dr. Amundson says. “The nurse might hear details that help with treatment and discharge planning. It’s nice to have that foresight and advocacy for the patient,” to know the patient’s situation well enough to anticipate a problem and help the patient with it.
So the pharmacy provided medication, and the team of Andy Yurek, Tim Anderson and Tim Wolff helped the patient back out to the highway, to her car. Which . . . wouldn’t start.
Tim Anderson had two booster packs to jumpstart the car. When they didn’t do the trick, Tim Wolff hunted down a set of jumper cables, and with NH+C’s vehicle, they got her car started. She was safely on her way home, out of state.
It took about 20 minutes. The patient was worried they’d leave her alone on the side of the road to manage it herself. “We assured her we wouldn’t,” Andy says.
“She was anxious about it,” he adds. “I thought, ‘If we can’t get this started, we’d take the van back to the hospital and call a tow truck and if she needed to stay in a hotel that night, how could we help?’”
That kind of thinking ahead – in Med/Surg, and by the side of the road – helps staff see the next need. The next right thing to do.
“It’s a great example of whole-person care,” Dr. Amundson says. “We look at the whole patient and their circumstances, from food security to financial concerns. We think about that during their hospital stay, to help make a successful discharge plan.”
“We were just happy to do it,” Tim Anderson says.
Patients count on us to see them the whole way through an experience. That takes foresight, teamwork . . . and sometimes, jumper cables.