Patient advocacy and persistence are not only essential qualities for a nurse, they can save a patient’s life. Just ask Emily Bell.
Last September when one of her patients in the CCU came back from a procedure, Bell began noticing that he was deteriorating in a short period of time. So she quickly got an EKG and notified the cardiologist midlevel on call. After receiving various orders, Bell saw that nothing seemed to help the patient.
As the team continued working on this patient, Bell stayed by his bedside throughout the night, and kept pushing and advocating along the way. She let everyone know she thought something else was wrong.
Once the day shift arrived, Bell approached the midlevel on call for the cardiologist and discussed her concerns. That’s when the midlevel ordered a stat echocardiogram, which revealed a large tamponade. The patient was then rushed to the operating room for a pericardial window, which saved his life.
“I learned that you always need to advocate for your patient and be there for them,” Bell said. “It’s one of the most important things a nurse can do. If you have a gut feeling and know that something’s wrong, you need to go with it. I had a great team that was working with me that night and thank goodness for them.”
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