February 2017

Kerry Smith, BSN, RN
Adult Emergency Room

A young man with autism presented after two witnessed seizures and needed to be sedated for CT, IV placement, etc. When the medical team wanted to bring in security to hold him down to be sedated, Kerry advocated for the patient and helped maintain his dignity in keeping the room calm, establishing trust with the patient, and instructing the patient’s mother how she could help. Kerry’s effective communication skills and ability to quickly develop a relationship with this patient enabled her to obtain IV access without security staff intervention or restraints.

When Kerry realized that the sedation provided to the patient would not be adequate for the patient to go to CT, Kerry further advocated for the patient and served as an effective liaison between the patient and the team in communicating closely with the medical team regarding implementing a new sedation plan. The patient’s family was nervous about the medications that were being used, and Kerry took the time to walk them through why it was necessary, exactly what to expect, and how she would monitor the patient as he recovered.

Throughout this patient’s ED workup, Kerry demonstrated an excellent bedside manner and professionalism, communicated what was happening to the patient’s family, and helped this patient get the complete medical workup that he needed while maintaining his dignity. Kerry’s interactions with this patient and his family highlight her tendency to provide compassionate care to all of her patients in the ED.