Before the sun fully shines, Evelyne Doriscat busily preps for her day as an Encompass Health rehabilitation nurse technician (RNT). Known for her award-winning acts of kindness, Evelyne arrives at the rehabilitation hospital at 6 a.m., greeting her team of nurses, therapists and staff with a smile before jumping into her daily routine – one of the best parts of her morning.
Evelyne loves visiting all of the patients at the start of her day to say “good morning” with a blood pressure check, comforting and encouraging them with her positive approach. Being there as a caregiver and a friend means a lot to her.
“I do my job with my heart,” Evelyne said. “I love being a part of someone’s life … seeing how much they appreciate you for what you helped them accomplish makes a difference in my work.”
Evelyne shares the same enthusiasm and support with her coworkers as a mentor and preceptor, going the extra mile to make their mornings better, too.
When 7 a.m. rolls around, Evelyne continues one-on-one time with her patients, playing a critical role in helping them stay healthy. She builds relationships during these times, sometimes as a teacher and often as a friend, helping them learn safety skills, like fall prevention, or how to use a call light or grab bars for help. Other times she assists with grooming skills and bathing, or guides a person through a wheelchair transfer.
Having progressed through a career ladder program and special trainings during her nine-year career with Encompass Health, Evelyne remains confident in her role each day. This includes completing the STOP Program (Stop. Think. Organize. Position.), created by Encompass Health to help employees protect themselves by learning how to properly lift, adjust and transfer patients in all aspects of patient care. Other training sessions for falls prevention, diabetes care and infection control have enabled Evelyne to be more successful as an RNT. She has also earned promotions within RNT levels, making her feel proud of her accomplishments.
“Encompass Health takes care of me,” Evelyne said. “This is the right place to work, where I can also learn and grow.”
As patients move on to the rehabilitation gym for a busy day of therapies, Evelyne communicates with nurses and therapists to address areas of need for her patients. She also uses Care Tracker to document each of her patient’s vital signs, mobility, transfer skills, diet intake and output, accomplishments, and concerns for improvement. Keeping up with documentation helps ensure her patients remain on track to achieve their goals.
Lunchtime begins around 11 a.m., with Evelyne giving her patients the special attention they need to refresh, refuel and rest. She visits with each one, getting to know their personal needs. Are they thirsty? Do they need a restroom break? What is their pain level? Evelyne makes it her priority to help them get what they need so they can be their best for rehabilitation.
Beginning at 1 p.m., while patients are in physical therapy, Evelyne mentors other RNTs on her floor, while continuing to keep patient information up to the minute in her Care Tracker. She interacts with the nutritionist if dietary needs are not being met. She discusses ideas, concerns and solutions with her supervisor to share with the rehabilitation physician*. And she circles back to visit her patients once they return from therapy, keeping them safe, healthy and moving forward.
“We are here for only one reason,” Evelyne said. “To get our patients back on their feet. When you see a patient’s accomplishments, it’s a feeling you can’t explain.”
Hourly meetings with patients continue at 3 p.m., with Evelyne staying proactive in her visits.
“We don’t wait for a patient to call us,” Evelyne said. “We ask to see what we can we do. Raise a bed, help someone bathe, check blood sugar, make someone more comfortable, get ice or a snack. I always work to help my patients have a better day.”
Evelyne’s shift ends at 6 p.m., so she makes one last check to ensure each patient has what he or she needs, and everything is in place for the next shift. She finds her work rewarding and where she belongs.
“When our patients come to us, they need help in a difficult time,” Evelyne said. “So, I treat them like family. It could be my family – brother, mother, sister. I’ve thought of that. It helps me work with my heart.”
*The hospital provides access to independent physicians.