Lizzi Narcisse, RN, is a first-year nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Emergency Observation Unit – where patients await acute care between admittance to the Emergency Department and after care, before discharge. An Emergency Observation Unit at Mass General can be a very challenging environment for an early career nurse, caring for patients with a wide variety of often unclear health concerns. Careful communication and observation are critical in this extremely fast-paced environment.
Lizzi explains that patients in the ED are often scared about their prognosis, of the unknown, and they experience heightened emotions. “A lot of the time, patients have never experienced their symptoms before, which is what prompted them to come to the ED in the first place,” she says. She adds, “and it’s the worst feeling when you discharge a patient and then they come back again with the same problem — that means we didn’t do our due diligence, the pieces didn’t connect.” That’s why Lizzie’s main goal is to reduce ER readmissions whenever possible.
Working at Mass General has empowered Lizzi to collaborate with and learn from colleagues across the hospital. “Mass General offers us so much support so that we can truly do our jobs to the best of our abilities,” she says. As a member of the Patient Education Committee, Lizzi has the opportunity to learn from colleagues from every department and program area, enriching her ability to best care for her patients as a nurse, as well as providing her with knowledge and resources to share with her fellow nurses.
The Patient Education Committee also provides her with access to tools to help in her efforts to help reduce ER readmissions. Tools that help her identify when and how to provide patients with printed, at-home care instructions, and how to work with physical therapists and social workers when necessary to set patients on the best path to recovery. “I find the Patient Education Committee so helpful because it gives us the tools to best educate the patient about what they’re experiencing, why it might be happening, and what to expect next,” she says.
Above and Beyond
Lizzi takes on the challenges of her role with enthusiasm. She is the recipient of a DAISY Award, serves as a role model and resource to her colleagues and consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that every patient is receiving thorough and thoughtful care.
But Lizzi also spends time outside of work raising money to support the Emergency Department. This summer, she ran the Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod to raise funds for the ED and was the top fundraiser for Mass General Emergency Medicine. “Additional funding can do wonders in the ED. Overcrowding and burnout are big issues. I love my coworkers, and I want them to be happy at work. You can tell when the person taking care of you is stressed out.”
“It would make such a difference if we had more space for people waiting for care, who are often in pain and afraid,” she says. “I can help make that happen by fundraising.”
To learn more about how you can support Mass General Emergency Medicine or participate in a Mass General fundraising event, please contact us.