Teamwork Gets Patient, 85, the Critical Care She Needed

May 30, 2014

Mercy ICU nurses, Amber Hunzicker, Julie Pennock and Patty Ryan

gave Betty Clayton a collective hug during a recent visit to the unit

following her extended hospitalization. Not pictured: Adrianne Bahr,

Rachel Baker, Tera Harris, Erin Meek, Sharon Willard and Janelle Wuthrich.

When Betty Clayton’s blood sugar results came back from the lab showing her levels had skyrocketed to over three times the norm, Dr. John Fox, Mercy Clinic Fort Scott Internal Medicine Physician, knew she needed to get to the hospital right away.

Fox’s nurse, Maggie Davenport, called Clayton’s cell and home phone to deliver the message. Clayton couldn’t be reached at either. Maggie, making a point to know her patients well, recalled that Clayton visits her spouse daily at Medicalodges Fort Scott. She made a call there – a call that likely saved her life.

But the story of going the extra mile continues. Once Clayton told the staff at Medicalodges Fort Scott about the need to get to the hospital quick, Sherry Hymer, director of nursing, helped her to a vehicle and drove her to the hospital, then drove Clayton’s vehicle to her (Clayton’s) home, took time to park it in the garage and even fed the cat.

“We were quite worried about Betty and Sherry just did what was necessary to get her where she needed to be,” explained Medicalodges of Fort Scott administrator Deb Madison.

Once at the hospital, Clayton was soon admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she remained for five days.

“While at Mercy, we couldn’t have asked for better care,” said Clayton’s daughter Sarah Kettler. The ICU nurses were phenomenal. It was obvious they had genuine concern for my mom.

She had severe muscle cramps due to low potassium levels and dehydration. A couple of the nurses even said they had never seen any that intense before. They took great care to keep the IVs going and even wrapped her legs in warm blankets to reduce the cramps.

I am so appreciative that Dr. Fox and every nurse took time to sit down and explain every detail about the care my mom was receiving. We talked at length about any risks of medicines that might help her pain and recovery. Fortunately, those medicines weren’t necessary.”

Clayton knows good care when she sees it. She’s been a volunteer with Mercy Auxiliary for 30 years. She said, “I was getting such good care, I almost hated to go home.”

And Kettler is relieved to know her mother is feeling much better now. “With help from Alice Helton, RN and Certified Diabetes Educator, my mom received important information that will help her keep blood sugar levels and eating habits on track. That gives me comfort and peace of mind.”

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