Alice Farrell, MSN, RN, CEN
Chief Nursing Officer, Kennedy University Hospital - Washington Township, Turnersville, NJ
Whether saving a man with sepsis or focusing on the emotional side of medicine, Chief Nursing Officer Alice Farrell always leads her team to higher levels of excellence.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that causes total body failure — from the liver, to the kidneys, and even the brain. Fifty percent of patients who come to the hospital for sepsis eventually die. So in March 2014, when a sepsis patient named Paul came to her hospital, Chief Nursing Officer Alice Farrell knew her team had to act quickly.
Many of the symptoms of sepsis, like fever and difficulty breathing, aren’t unique to this disease, which makes it tricky to diagnose. Yet, Alice’s team went to work right away to rule out other infections, and ultimately come up with the diagnosis. From there, Paul received around-the-clock care in the Intensive Care Unit, requiring mechanical ventilation and blood pressure support.
Paul spent his 60th birthday in the hospital, so the next year, he went back to thank the many Hospital Heroes on his care team who saved his life. “When he returned to celebrate his birthday with them, there wasn’t a dry eye in room,” Alice said. “Everyone was so touched by his gratitude. It was tremendously inspiring to have a patient celebrate the work we do.”
Playing a role in Paul’s success story is just one reason why Alice was nominated as a Hospital Hero by her coworker Nicole P.
“Alice is empathetic, flexible, open-minded and always looking for new and better ways to deliver care – and to lead her staff to higher levels of excellence.”
Alice isn’t just a caretaker for her patients, but also for her entire staff. She brought the Schwartz Center Rounds to Kennedy Hospital, so her staff can have regular discussions about their emotions and the impact of the work they do. This in turn, helps them make better personal connections with their patients and with each other.
Thank you, Alice, for your decades of service! You truly are a Hospital Hero.
Read more about the sepsis “Tale of Triumph” in South Jersey Magazine.
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