15:29 PM

Peak Performer: Deb Smith, RN

RN staff, 4 Main


Deb was a Peak Performer recipient for the third quarter of 2022 (April-June). Below is her nomination letter.

DEBORAH SMITH, RN, BSN, CPN PhotoFor an extended amount of time I was Deb’s co-worker on 4 Main where we cared for a medically complex patient for several months. This patient and his family were particularly challenging to care for. Medically, this patient had several diagnoses that required care from many specialty providers. In addition to the medical complexity of this patient, the patient’s family was highly anxious as the hospitalization prolonged. One of the major issues we faced was communication between providers. As the days went on, the patient was slowly deteriorating and the providers had different opinions on the plan of care for the patient. After listening to the concerns from this patient’s mother, Deb spent an entire shift coordinating a care conference for this patient. She coordinated and organized a conference for approximately 10 providers and the list of those who attended the care conference exceeded 20 people. This was no easy feat, but Deb was determined to provide the best possible care for this patient by simply encouraging all providers to discuss this patient’s care face-to-face. The patient’s mother was extremely grateful because she was given the opportunity to present her opinion and preferences for her son’s care to everyone at once, as opposed to having to repeat herself to every single provider daily. After that providers often called each other prior to rounding or decided on a time to round on the patient together. As her co-worker I was in awe of her dedication, commitment, and advocacy to not only this patient, but every patient she has.

Deb was also instrumental in designing and implementing a team-based approach for patient admissions. Historically, when a patient arrived from the emergency department or operating room, it was the responsibility of the primary nurse to take vital signs, perform an assessment, bring supplies to the room, answer questions from the family, and complete the admission questions and are not always quick to complete. Deb saw this need and recommended a team-based approach to admissions. The primary nurse’s stress and anxiety levels are now often reduced because the tasks are divvied up among three people. Additionally, the stress of the primary nurse being the first person to lay eyes on the patient is significantly reduced because other team members are entering the room. This intervention allows for an additional safety feature by having three nurses in the room to verify the patient’s birth date and allergies. Deb was instrumental in the roll-out of this team-based approach to patient admissions. She exhibits leadership to help fellow staff nurses, patients, and families