NEW CALEDONIA, ND – Nurse manager Barbara Yittle, RN, BSN, MHASN, MOWCN, FACMN, hasn’t seen a fall on the 13th floor of University of Eastern North Dakota Medical Center in almost 7 months. That’s why she held a firm line this afternoon when nurses tried to bend the fall precaution rules while moving recently deceased Buster Briggerston down to the hospital morgue. She demanded that nurses halt transport until yellow rubber-coated fall socks were in place.
“Who knows what could happen while they’re trying to get him downstairs? I won’t let him slip out of bed with bare feet on my watch. If he goes down, we’re not taking our hospital’s preventable fall rate down with him.. Not on my watch.”
While family members stood around his bed and wept, she sternly berated bedside nursing staff and personally took responsibility for placing the yellow falls socks back on Mr. Briggerston’s cold feet.
Yittle also insisted that the bed alarm stay on.
“Let them cry… Rules are rules,” said Yittle.
For her small act of unperturbed legalistic heroism in the face of human suffering, Yittle is this week’s DME Health Hero.