Following routine surgery during his regular winter stay in Florida, a native Mainer became gravely ill. After spending more than a month in an intensive care unit at a Florida hospital, the patient’s family, one of whom is an EMHS employee, wanted to bring him back home to Eastern Maine Medical Center. The physicians and case manager at the facility in Florida were not encouraging of this decision, and told the family that while they would sign the necessary paperwork, the family was on its own to plan a medical flight to Maine. What a daunting task!
The family called EMMC to ask how to begin a transfer and were connected with nursing supervisor Jessica Bassi, RN. Jessica was sympathetic, understanding, confident, and most importantly, caring. She assisted the family through three days of ups and downs and planning. She spoke with them daily on the phone, offering support and reassurance. Jessica kept the family informed of the availability of beds in EMMC’s intensive care unit and let them know that caregivers were expecting their loved one. She told her concerned co-worker who the physicians were on call, adding that they were wonderful and highly skilled – some of the best she has worked with. Jessica’s reassuring words helped relieve some of the tension of the situation and offered hope that they would soon be home.
Tuesday before the flight, Jessica made a special call to the patient’s family, just to check in and alert them that she was going home soon. She also told them that she would be back the next day and that together they would get the patient transferred successfully. Jessica took the time to ask how things were going – she knew it was a stressful situation and showed concern for a co-worker she didn’t even know.
Jessica provided hope, guidance, and friendship, exemplifying commitment to co-workers, excellent service, and truly putting the patient first.