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  • Shining Stars June 2010

    This program rewards individuals that go above and beyond their job responsibilities in exemplifying one of the five supporting commitments. These commitments are Safety, Clinical Excellence, Courtesy & Caring, Healing Environment and Efficiency.


    AWARDED TO: Dr. Mehrdad Abbasi, Jackie Hayboer, Curtis Ferguson, Roger Wright, Karen Montejano, Kyle Stephenson, Jodie Castor, Venus Sayegh, David Downing, Estelle Millward, Rex Catt and Teresa Jimenez Stremlow

    RECOGNIZED BY:  Debra Lavorgna

    SITUATION/TASK:  Saturday, May 15th at 7am, there was a Code Blue called on 2 North- this unit has been closed for almost one month. These people were the first responders where they found a construction worker that was non- responsive; no pulse after falling from a high scaffolding lying in a growing pool of blood. There was no supplies or electricity and lots of construction clutter and dirt. The pt had multiple facial fractures.

    ACTION:   The teamwork displayed was amazing. Compressions were started, IV attempts intubaled all while the patient was lying on the ground. They were able to lift him to a gurney and rush him to ED and from there to CSU

    RESULT:  Without this team’s efficient, timely response I feel this patient would not have survived. We are all very lucky to have the high quality of staff that work here.


    AWARDED TO: Linda Wheeler

    RECOGNIZED BY:   Lynda Lewis

    SITUATION/TASK:  Linda was volunteering in the Gift Shop as she always does, when two gentlemen came in asking if the Gift Shop had any electronic hand-held software solitaire games. Linda said they did not carry those items but asked why they were looking for one. They told Linda their mother was upstairs in the hospital and was going crazy because she had left hers at home.

    ACTION:  Linda just so happened to have the game they were asking for in her purse. It was uncanny because she had never brought it before that day to work. She offered the game to the gentlemen who replied they could not take her game. Linda insisted. She said that if I were in the hospital I would want to have my items that made me feel more at home.

    RESULT:  The gentlemen were extremely grateful and offered to pay her but Linda refused and their mother had the solitaire game to play. Wonderful job, Linda. Thank you for making a patient so happy and comfortable her at EMC.


    AWARDED TO: Amelia Cortez 
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Sharon Houston RN, Cathy Tatlow RN, Raquel Virgen RN, Marilyn Zullo RN and Patty Garcia RN
    SITUATION/TASK: During the past few months the Infusion Center has seen a tremendous increase in patient load without an increase in staff numbers. We all needed to pitch in to fill the need that was most immediate. Amelia became the cornerstone of the Infusion Center. I have always said that the place would fall apart without her. If ever the definition of “other duties as assigned” was the case, it fit what Amelia took on these past few weeks. And of course, she did it with her characteristic grace, professionalism and efficiency.

    ACTION:  Amelia Cortez is designated as the Infusion Center’s CAN, but also covers the front desk, is the courier for lab draws and blood products, schedules patients and is our Spanish language translator. Amelia also passes out the meals to our patients during lunchtime. She always remembers each patient’s particular likes and makes sure that they get exactly what they want. Our patients really appreciate it and look forward to seeing Amelia each time they come in. At the end of the day, her workstation is always clean and all of her work is completed. She has trained all our volunteers and sets their daily work schedule.

    RESULT:   The staff has come to rely on Amelia’s unflinching assistance during times of high patient volume. Her quiet grace and humor in this fast- paced environment have made each day run more smoothly and efficiently. Amelia is always anticipating the nurse’s needs, getting vital signs without being asked, making patients comfortable and making our lives and our patients lives the better for being there.


    AWARDED TO: Liz Edmundson, Kathy Haugen 
    RECOGNIZED BY:  Jim Reed
    SITUATION/TASK:  On 5/20/2010 while her husband was receiving physical therapy in the Dolores Hope Building, the patient’s wife, while waiting in the waiting room, began to experience facial drooping as well as weakness and drooling. Another person waiting in the waiting room brought this to the secretary’s attention.

    ACTION:  Kathryn, who was alone in the front office, immediately called Liz, who was working in the back, to come up to the front office. Liz immediately recognized the patient’s symptoms as those of someone experiencing an acute CVA. Liz instructed Kathryn to immediately call 911, which Kathryn did. Kathryn then called security and explained the situation to them, that she had called 911 and expressed the need for a quick response from security. For the patient’s privacy, Kathryn then cleared all other patients out of the waiting room, having them use an alternate waiting room in another area. By this time, the woman’s husband had come up to the waiting room and, along with the patient, was getting quite hysterical watching what was happening to his wife. Liz quietly and calmly held the woman’s hand and made her comfortable, all the while calming both she and her husband. The patient and her husband were feeling that she did not need the paramedics but Liz remained insistent and that they wait for the paramedics and receive care. When they arrived and while attending to the woman’s needs, Liz continued to be very attentive and calming to the husband.

    RESULT:  The patient ended up being admitted to the emergency room where she was said to have been having a massive stroke. She was able to receive TPA to lessen the severity of her symptoms and was admitted to the acute hospital here at Eisenhower. She then had other medical complications which, unfortunately, resulted in her discharged to hospice on Sunday. Due to Kathryn’s quick response and Liz’s recognition of the symptoms and calming effect on the patient, the severity of the stroke as well as the degree of disability were minimalized, resulting in the patient surviving what quite likely would have been a fatal incident. In addition to the above incident, the following Monday, the patient’s husband and two daughters came into the office to talk and thank both Kathryn and Liz. Liz, unfortunately, was off that day. Kathryn sat down with the family and listened to their thoughts and comments, all the while holding their hands and crying with them. Kathryn displayed such caring and compassion. The daughters said they just wanted to come by and say Thank you for giving them one more day with their mother.


    AWARDED TO:  Curtis Ferguson

    RECOGNIZED BY:  Lynne Malestic

    SITUATION/TASK:  I was answering a call light of a patient who was in the bathroom and needed help back to her bed. When I went to help her I noticed she was too big for me to handle alone and she was very weak. I called out for one of the nurse’s aide or for another nurse to help me. There was no one around.

    ACTION: This is when Curtis was coming up the hallway with a gurney to pick up a patient. He saw I needed help, parked his gurney and offered to help me. He went above and beyond his job description to assist our patient and I to assure that there was no fall or injury. He was so friendly and patient and really left an impression on the patient and myself. He is the type of person our patients really appreciate. I can’t wait to work along side of him when he becomes an RN because he is a real team player!

    RESULT:  We were able to get the Patient back to bed safely without injury

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