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DiversityNursing Blog

ICU Nurse Donates Part of Her Liver to Save 8-Year-Old Boy

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Sep 05, 2019 @ 12:26 PM


Nurses are selfless, always giving as much of themselves as they can for their patients. Thanks to one extremely selfless Nurse, 8-year-old Brayden Auten of WI is alive and well and starting a new school year. 


One day last April, Brayden, a busy and active child, came home from school very sick. The following evening, he was at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee where doctors discovered an aggressive unknown virus attacking his liver.


According to a Wisconsin News article, within a week, young Brayden was fighting for his life. Ruth Auten, Brayden's mom said "Started talking liver transplant, and we just bawled our eyes out. We didn't think it was going to get that far."


The family posted Brayden's story online and the response was so huge, an operator was added to the unit to handle the volume of phone calls. Thankfully, Cami Loritz, an ICU Nurse in Milwaukee, answered their prayers. She was a perfect match and volunteered to be a living donor.


Brayden’s dad, James Auten said "What she did was completely selfless and she saved his life, plain and simple." Ruth said "We can't thank her enough. She's a true miracle. We consider her one of us, one of our family."


While Brayden was recovering in Milwaukee, the community back home in Wrightstown, WI came together for the family. "They set up fundraisers and everything for tournaments and just, it was really amazing to see the community support and the wrestling team came while we were gone and did our lawn and landscaping and came and saw him. It's been pretty amazing," said Brayden's dad. 


The Auten's are so thankful and grateful for the gift of life Cami gave to Brayden. To commemorate what Cami did for Brayden and his family, they organized a family photo shoot for them. You can see their bond in these photos. Cami, you are truly an amazing person!




Topics: organ donor, ICU nurse, liver transplant, nurse organ donor

Retired ICU Nurse Has Stories For Days

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 02:58 PM

Trini.jpegJokester, Trini Moad Snow, was a Nurse for over 40 years. She's now retired at age 91 but, talks about her happy days at work and the path to her passion. Moad Snow recalls picking vegetables after high school so she could save up enough money for Nurse training and that one time when she cut off an executive's tie! If you're interested in more of Trini's stories continue reading below. 

When Trini Moad Snow retired, she decided to play a prank.

It was at a luncheon put on in 1992 by the staff of Mercy Medical Center, now Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa. Moad Snow, standing next to a hospital executive, pulled a pair of scissors out of her pocket and cut off the tie around his neck.

"I said, 'I never did like your ties,' and I cut it off!'" Moad Snow said, laughing.

"He said, 'You cut off my tie,'" she continued. "I said, 'I know, I don't like your ties.' I thought he was going to faint."


The people watching roared with laughter. Then, Moad Snow pulled out a box containing a nice, new tie and presented it to the executive, who gave her a hug.

"I get a card from him, every once in awhile," she said.

At 91, Moad Snow lives a laid-back life of retirement in Caldwell. She recalls tales from her nursing days that are usually tinged with humor and make her and her audience laugh. Moad Snow has the direct, matter-of-fact attitude you expect from a nurse, and her passion for her more-than-40-year-career is evident.

"I never did go to work unhappy," Moad Snow said. "I loved my work."

Moad Snow holds the distinction of having helped set up the first intensive care unit in Nampa at the Old Mercy Hospital, at a time when intensive care looked different from it looks like today. She saw the evolution of the nursing field from medical advancements to the style of uniforms.

Back in 1946, nurse training school cost Moad Snow a mere $75, a fact she likes to point out incredulously.

In today's dollars $75 is about $995, but that is still cheaper than a nursing student would pay for a semester's tuition at the College of Western Idaho, let alone three years of schooling.


To earn the money to train to be a nurse, Moad Snow, along with her friend Mickey Maybon, picked vegetables in the fields after graduating from Marsing High School. She swears she can still feel the cold lettuce in her hands as she packaged it for shipping.

When they finally earned enough money, they went into training at the old Sisters of Mercy hospital in Nampa.

Nursing was not at the top of Moad Snow's list of careers. She went to nursing school because Maybon convinced her to go. When she was almost finished with training, she had an interview set up in Seattle for an airline stewardess job. But a nun at the hospital turned her plans around.

"She said, 'Trini, you gotta give us a year. You owe us that,'" Moad Snow recalled.

She ended up working in the office of Dr. Warren B. Ross for the next eight years, then went to work at Old Mercy Hospital, an institution where she spent the rest of her career.

Moad Snow was a head nurse in the mid-1960s when she was walking down the hallway with two doctors who asked her if she likes to travel. They told her the hospital was setting up a new kind of unit that was becoming common all over the country, and she could go to New York to learn all about it.

"It wasn't really new; we took care of very ill patients out on the floor," Moad Snow explained. "But what was beginning to happen was they were beginning to group these patients into one area, and they called them 'intensive care units.'"

The new type of care would require nurses to have special training in things like the monitoring of patients' heart rhythms.

Moad Snow was told when she came back to Nampa that Old Mercy's intensive care unit would be fully set up and ready to go; all she would need to do was train the nurses. It didn't quite turn out that way.


"I came back, and I'll never forget ... I went home and cried that day," Moad Snow said.

One of the nuns at the hospital took her downstairs and showed her where she would set up the intensive care unit. She had two small rooms, and to wheel a patient out to the elevator to the surgical department she had to physically move her nurse's station desk.

Thankfully, that set-up was not permanent. Three months later, in September 1968, the Mercy Medical Center opened.

Although Saint Alphonsus is preparing to replace that facility this summer when it opens a new medical center nearby, the hospital was modern for its time, Moad Snow said, especially the ICU.

When the ICU was still in its early years, Moad Snow traveled to Russia to observe intensive medical care. She noticed they had a different policy than she was used to: Family members were allowed to stay nearby with the patient, as opposed to being kept at a distance. It broke all the rules Moad Snow learned, but it made such a difference in the patients' treatment and recovery.

When she got back to Idaho, Moad Snow tore up her rule book and let families visit patients in the ICU.

"It just made everything so much better," she added.

Moad Snow's career saw the application of new medical procedures.

She remembers the first time she watched a pacemaker get inserted. She thought the patient was going to die.

"And then when we got it connected and we saw that blip, and the patient's heart beating on the regular — it's pretty thrilling," Moad Snow said. "And I just couldn't get over how we could do things like that."


With all the changes, what hasn't changed about quality nursing is caring for patients, Moad Snow said.

"I still think there's a lot of care there. If you're a nurse, a good nurse, and you care about patients — I think they still have that," she said.

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Topics: ICU nurse, retired nurse

Keep the Beat: A Day In A Life of An ICU Nurse

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 02:56 PM

By Liane Clores

I glance at the wall clock as I finish off my breakfast with the last sip of coffee. 6:14 am. Dutyicu job 197x300 Keep the Beat: A Day In A Life of An ICU Nurse is about to start in about 46 minutes. I have to hurry up, I don’t want to be late for the endorsement. I fix my neatly ironed scrub suit and smock gown, pick up my things, which I prepared last night and head out the door with my game face on. Another day of saving lives is about to start.

“It’s like having a taste of both heaven and hell on earth,” Carmel* tells as she describes what it is like being an ICU nurse. “You get to save lives and be of help to patients who are sick, but what’s depressing about being a nurse in the ICU is seeing a life fading from a person’s eyes from time to time,” she adds.

6:30am. I arrive just in time for the nurses’ endorsement. I warm up and whisper to myself, “I can do this” as I get ready to face anything that may happen within my 8-hour duty shift. I grab the kardex first and try to read through my assigned patient’s information. Next, I take hold of the chart and read thoroughly, asking questions now and then from the outgoing nurse-on-duty, checking every sheet on the chart. We then proceed to bedside endorsement. Icheck if the IV site is patent and is not yet infiltrated, the labels and drips of they are on time, the urine catheters if clogged up or not, machines attached to the patient if functioning well.

“You have to be meticulous though, everything can be significant. You must check everything in the chart, from orders to what medications are to be administered and what has been the status of the patient within the previous shift. You must possess good assessment skills and must never be afraid nor shy to ask questions, or else it will only result to you getting confused, making mistakes, and worse taking your patient’s life at stake,” Rachelle shares.

After all the assessment and baseline vital signs taking, I proceed to checking the stocks and supplies. Once satisfied that the stocks can last the entire shift, I take the medicine cards from the medicine rack and organize them. I plan out my activities for the shift and prioritize them according to urgency, for today is going to be a long day of turning and lifting patients, administering medications, suctioning, monitoring and catering the patient’s needs.

The ICU is where seriously sick persons are admitted and are cared for by specially trained nurses.  They need a higher level of care compared to those patients admitted in wards. They should be monitored intensively and are closely monitored. Even though the ratio of patients and nurses is 1:1, some still consider it stressful being an ICU nurse. Since nurses are assigned to one patient each, each is expected to render comprehensive care to the clientele.

My patient’s BP has dropped from 180/100mmhg to 150/80mmhg. I call the resident doctor on duty to update him on the latest progress and after examining the patient, he orders to decrease the rate of the AC drip in decrements of 5 until the BP reaches 130-140/80mmhg.I decrease the rate from 10 uggts/min to 5uggts/min and recheck the BP 30 minutes later. The attending physician arrives to conduct his daily rounds and I update him regarding my observations on the patient’s current condition. I show the latest vital signs, laboratory findings and assist him as he examines the patient closely. I suggest plans of care which he acknowledges courteously. After which, I carry out the doctor’s orders and prescribe due medicines and supplies while continuing monitoring the patient closely making sure that the patient remains stable.

ICU nurses are trained nurses who are assigned to critically ill patients. Since these patients have unique needs, nurses must be equipped with proper training to handle them more appropriately such as Intravenous Therapy, Basic Life Support and ACLS trainings. They must have critical thinking skills and make snappy decisions. In the battle of life and death, they must come prepared and have a knowing on what to do since by working every day, they know that they are making life and death decisions and one wrong move can make matters worse.

I step out of the unit feeling tired and relieved. My 8-hour shift is now over as I turned my patient over the next nurse-on-duty. I feel fulfilled to know that today, I saved another life. It really is exhausting being a nurse and even the salary isn’t enough compared to all the sacrifices you have made in a day of duty. But sometimes, small things can make a big difference, like for us, nurses, just hearing a simple “Thank You” from either patients or their folks is enough to wipe the stress away.

Source: NursingCrib

Topics: ICU nurse, icu nurse jobs, intensive care unit

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