ETBU nursing student saves baby from possible abduction | People
An East Texas Baptist nursing student was recently recognized by Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview for being a hero.
Judson LaGrone, from Nederland, was part of a team that stopped a young child from being abducted from the emergency department. LaGrone received the Good Shepherd Hospital Hero Award, along with his two nursing colleagues, Lori Vale RN and Julia Tilley LVN, during the hospital’s monthly management meeting on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.
The Hospital Hero award is not a regularly scheduled award; rather it is only awarded when there are incidents of exemplary and meritorious behavior of hospital team members.
About six weeks ago, a young child was brought into the emergency department by a mother and male acquaintance with an unusual lesion on one hand. According to Ron Short, vice president of operations for Good Shepherd, “Things just did not add up the way they should have.”
LaGrone was present in the ER that day because he was doing his student clinical rotation. “As a level four ETBU nursing student, I have seen many different forms of care. We are taught how to watch for ‘red flags’ and always use our first instinct, as well as assessment data, to guide us through our practice rotation,” said LaGrone.
“It was a typical clinical rotation in the minor care emergency room with abscesses, respiratory complications, and fall injuries until I came across the chart of the young child. The chief complaint was an unusual lesion on an extremity without a reason or explanation from the mother. I had a notion that this was going to be a case that would not end well,” added Lagrone.
“I asked the primary nurse to assist me with the assessment and explained to her my concern about our client. As we entered the room, the client, the mother and male acquaintance were present. I began to ask questions about the lesion and the conversation became challenging,” continued LaGrone.
According to LaGrone, the parents of the child were separated and there was reportedly strain between them. After a phone call to the father, it was discovered that the child had been removed from his care without his consent. While the Longview Police Department interviewed the mother, the male acquaintance tried to leave the ER with the abducted child.
“One of our staff and an ETBU student who was rounding in the emergency department that day put up appropriate resistance to stop the man from leaving,” said Short during the award presentation.
LaGrone was instrumental in keeping the male acquaintance from leaving the hospital by placing himself between the man and the child as he was trying to flee the hospital. “I told him he had two choices, one was to return to the room with the child or leave the child with me, and he could leave,” said LaGrone.
“It was our staff’s diligence that got the child back in safe hands and back to the father,” said Short.
“We are so proud of Mr. LaGrone and his nursing colleagues, Ms. Vale and Ms Tilley. In the ETBU Professional Nursing program, we teach our students to conduct careful assessment and use sound clinical reasoning as they make decisions. In this exemplary situation, Mr. LaGrone demonstrated through his actions and quick thinking a remarkable commitment to excellent care, his team and making a difference,” stated Dr. Ellen Fineout-Overholt, Dean of the Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies and Chair of ETBU Nursing.
LaGrone, who grew up with medical problems of his own, has chosen a nursing career because of the care he received from nurses when he was ill. “My mother has also been a great inspiration to my nursing career. Through her nursing career and her loving nature, she has instilled in me how to care for others in an emphatic way. I never thought that, as a student nurse, I would be the major difference in a patient’s outcome or contribute to a child’s advocacy as I did during this clinical rotation,” said LaGrone. “I realize now that we learn in the classroom could be life or death for our clients.”
Lagrone is scheduled to receive his Bachelor of Nursing degree during ETBU’s spring commencement on May 5, 2012.