Healthcare Professional and Stroke Survivor
On February 10, 2009, Agnes, a nurse manager at Lutheran
Medical Center's stroke unit went from being the stroke nurse to a stroke
patient without warning.
Agnes is a 35-year nursing veteran at Lutheran Medical
Center and the key nursing advocate and partner in establishing the hospital’s stroke
unit. Her enthusiasm and dedication to advances in stroke care piggy-backed off
her experiences in the emergency department. Her stroke occurred, while
relieving one of her nurses for meal break in our stroke unit. A blood clot
embolized from her heart to the right MCA. Thankfully, the family member was
knowledgeable of signs and
symptoms of stroke and called an RRT (Rapid Response Team Code). The team
of nurses and physicians that she had been so instrumental in creating and
nurturing sprang to action and within 30 minutes her CT and blood work were
performed and IV TPA started. We were able to
deliver brain saving medicine quickly and the outcome was very gratifying.
Agnes spent three days in our stroke unit and then went to our inpatient stroke
rehabilitation program. Her experiences during this process, as well as the
subsequent outpatient rehabilitation, have been instrumental in the redesign of
our program to become more patient-friendly. Agnes is thankfully back at work
now with added responsibilities of being our neuroscience nurse manager. She
has a special perspective that I believe can be helpful to patients and
providers in becoming better at how we take care of our patients and ourselves.