Nursing student speaks up

Nursing student awarded for vocalizing a patient’s disease

By Kaitlin Trujillo
On November 9, 2017

Photo by Kaitlin Trujillo
Abigail Ocker, junior, and her Certificate of Commendation for using her knowledge to save a patient.

An ASU nursing student was awarded a certificate of commendation for outstanding work in clinical performance on Oct. 23 for her knowledge in patient care.

Abigail Ocker, junior, spoke up about a patient’s cirrhosis of the liver when no other nurse was aware of the disease.

"The cirrhosis was his admitting diagnosis so it should have been known," Ocker said. "It was on his chart. They had his chart so I just kind of assumed they knew because that was his admitting diagnosis."

The patient had low platelet count so the nurses called to notify the physician.

"When the doctor asked if it was from liver damage none of the nurses said anything and nobody knew so I told him ‘Well he has cirrhosis,’" Ocker said. "The doctor thought about it and said you can go ahead and do the procedure."

The certificate was awarded to Ocker by Billie Klesch-Sheeran, M.S.N., RN and Clinical Instructor.

"It is highly unusual for a second semester student to speak out to a physician when the RN caring for the patient does not," Klesch-Sheeran said. "Abigail exhibited courage and spoke out when the other team members and the patient could not."

Ocker’s clinical study was a part of her Adult 1 Practicum course.

"I am very proud of her for speaking up and putting her own fears and insecurities aside in the interest of patient care," Klesch-Sheeran said.

Ocker said she is thankful for Klesch-Sheeran’s teachings and experience.

"This award means everything," Ocker said. "It makes me proud of myself."

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