ABPANC Advocacy Award Winners and Stories
The 8th annual ABPANC Advocacy Award was presented at the CPAN®/CAPA® Celebration Breakfast held May 5, 2008 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center, Dallas, TX to a very surprised Judy Duersch, RN, BSN, CPAN, who works in the Same Day Surgery/Recovery Room at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.This award publicly recognizes a CPAN or CAPA certified nurse who exemplifies leadership as a patient advocate and is the highest accolade given to a certified nurse. Nominated by her colleague, Tracy Dustin, Tracy wrote a story describing only one of many instances when Judy truly advocated for a patient.
Judy was presented with the beautiful Lladro Nurse Statue and a scholarship for her next recertification fee. Tracy, as the individual who took the time to submit the story, received a $100 cash award. The unit in which Judy and Traci work received a $350 award to use for certification/recertification fees, books, or continuing education.
Seeing the award information for the first time, I immediately thought of my colleague, Judy Duersch, RN, BSN, CPAN. She is an incredible mentor and teacher to all staff, young, and old; willing to take the time and risk to ensure patient safety and nursing staff/physician development. The patience and manner in which she cares for patients, her work ethic, and willingness to always go the extra mile for individual patients and their families is extraordinary. Judy leads by example and has successfully encouraged nearly our entire staff to participate as board members or elected officers in our local Perianesthesia Nursing Organization. The goal established for our unit is to have everyone CPAN and CAPA certified by 2009, which is the direct result of Judy’s enthusiasm and advocacy for the patient and nursing practice.
One particular example of her thoughtfulness and patience in working with our nation’s heroes came on a very hectic day when we were short staffed due to sick calls and emergencies. One of our veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder came in for a preoperative interview and assessment. He was in a tremendous hurry, reacting with severe anxiety. Judy immediately identified his concerns and focused on those, instead of the physical assessment. This veteran had many co-morbidities and needed preoperative anesthesiologist, pulmonary and cardiac evaluations for his upcoming major surgery. He was also on Coumadin. Judy paid particular attention to his anxiety and put his mind at ease with her gentle, empathetic and reassuring manner.
In spite of the hustle and bustle of the unit, she treated this veteran like he was the most important person in the world at that moment. She arranged for him to stay overnight in the hospital’s hoptel unit and obtained a meal for him so he wouldn’t have to drive home that evening. She then made multiple phone calls to coordinate the preoperative evaluations he needed, including a call to his wife so she wouldn’t worry about him. In her manner Judy was able to work miracles for this man with departments that were scheduled out at least a month. She not only got the evaluations arranged in a timely fashion, but obtained them all for the next day so the patient would not have to come back multiple times.
Judy checked on him the next day in the hoptel to review his schedule and be sure he got to all his appointments. Because he had difficulty walking long distances and was easily lost in our big facility, she personally escorted him to the first appointment and then arranged for an escort to get him to his subsequent appointments. She also made sure that he had meals throughout the day and got him to his car before rush hour.
Once the reports were completed by the different disciplines, she compiled them and contacted his Primary Care Provider and Anesthesiologist to review them. A plan of care was established to maximize his health before surgery — resulting in a good outcome for the patient.
This CPAN and CAPA certified nurse demonstrates wisdom, knowledge and professionalism and is a wonderful example to all around her. She is respected by her colleagues. It is such an honor to be able recognize her outstanding contributions to perianesthesia nursing.