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Burn Trauma ICU credits teamwork, compassion for high patient satisfaction

Apr 1, 2008 9:00 AM

When asked to describe an example of exceptional patient care, Burn Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU ) Nurse Manager Lezli Matthews, R.N., couldn’t think of one – she thought of many. “I could fill a book with really wonderful stories,” said Matthews.

She remembers the time when a burn rehab patient desperately wanted to go home to her young sons, but didn’t want to show up empty-handed. A nurse took her shopping as a therapeutic activity. When the patient was finally discharged, she went home with new clothes and toys in tow, just as she had hoped. Another time, a patient needed money to get home after being cleared to leave the unit, so a staff member went out of his way to pick up a wire transfer from the patient’s family.

These examples, Matthews said, are small examples of the Burn Trauma ICU ’s commitment to quality care, teamwork, and compassion for patients and families who are under intense emotional, mental, and physical stress due to burn trauma.

“Burns are just devastating for the patients,” said Barbara Schuster, R.N., a Burn Trauma ICU staff member. “But we understand their worries and we have a good idea of where they’re going.” Staff and physicians take time to get to know patients and their families, address concerns, and offer open, honest advice,” said Matthews.

Earlier this year, the Burn Trauma ICU received the Pillar Award, an honor granted quarterly by hospital administration to the department with the highest patient satisfaction. “I think our teamwork is stellar, our physicians are wonderful, and I think the patients recognize that,” Matthews said. As the only burn center in the Intermountain region, Matthews stressed how important it is for her unit to maintain a high standard of care. “We have, and will, always strive to be the absolute best.”

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