Early this morning I was awakened by sun illuminated mountains outside my window and I couldn’t help but feel the energy that Breckenridge emanates. Coming out to the Telluride Summer Camp I was a bit anxious and unsure of what to expect as I have never been invited to attend such a unique program; However, after meeting everyone and spending some time in this picturesque town, my fears have dissolved.
Starting off the day with the Lewis Blackman film was emotional and so powerful for me. I’m so thankful that Helen has come out to share her tragic story with us because it really brings home the importance of patient safety and highlights so many dangerous aspects of healthcare within the hospital. As a night shift nurse, I was effected most when I learned Lewis’ nurse caring for him that weekend night knew something wasn’t right but she dismissed her concern once she was shot down by the resident physician. She was seeing Lewis’ change in condition through assessment findings and by his vital signs but she did not advocate for her patient. Speaking up to healthcare providers higher in the hierarchy can be intimidating if you are unsure of the severity of the patient’s presentation. There’s fear that you might ask for help unnecessarily and aggravate the busy resident. Maybe they’ll yell at you or lose trust in your abilities. Maybe Lewis’ nurse thought the resident must know better than her… so she had no reason to be concerned. Either way, this nurse missed her opportunity to save this boy’s life and she failed him. Speaking up and advocating is absolutely necessary and its our responsibility to our patients that we do so even when we are met with opposition.