He Taught His Patient To Smell The Roses

Nurse Stanton Hinson, who works on the Medical Progressive Care Unit at University Hospital was recently commended for his quick call to action to aid a patient.

It was a manic Monday when Nurse Stanton Hinson took a report on a very restless patient.

“The patient had been suffering from what appeared to be severe delirium for at least 24 hours, causing the patient to become extremely restless. The nurse and supporting staff members were in and out of the room numerous times an hour in an attempt to keep the patient safe and to reassure the family at the bedside,” said Nurse Susan Elpers, MPCU Clinical Care Manager at University Hospital.  A CT scan had been ordered the day before but the test was unable to be performed due to the patient’s condition.

On this particular Monday around 6:30 in the evening, the patient began to lose consciousness, signs of delirium subsided. That’s when Hinson, 29, a travel nurse with IU Health for the past year, took action. He insisted a CT scan be given to the patient.

“As the official read of the scan was occurring, and the patient was being transported back up to the unit, Hinson made crucial calls to the covering service and to the Rapid Response RN, Frank Anderson, alerting them that quick action was needed,” said Elpers.  “Hinson anticipated that this patient needed to be emergently transported to Methodist.  The Rapid Response Team immediately initiated the Level 1 stroke protocol, and in conjunction with the covering service, neurosurgery service and LifeLine, the patient was packed up and emergently taken to Methodist Hospital.  Within the hour, the patient was in the OR, having lifesaving surgery,” said Elpers.

Three days later, the patient was recovering. Elpers credits the quick response by Hinson and Anderson for saving the patient’s life.

Hinson says his experience in critical care has helped him make tough decisions. His career includes working in both surgical and cardiovascular ICU.

“We get a wide range of diagnosis in medical progressive care,” said Hinson. “The patients are all very sick so it’s nice to have the critical care background.” Always interested in caring for others, Hinson said he knew at age 14 he wanted to be a nurse and by the age of 16, he obtained his certification as a CNA and worked his way through Bethel College to become a nurse.

One of his strengths is calming his patients during anxious moments. He recently had a patient who had been very ill and was not getting better.

“She was afraid she was dying and she kept asking me if she’d ever laugh again,” said Hinson. “She wouldn’t sleep because she was afraid she wouldn’t wake up and she continually had panic attacks and couldn’t breathe. To help her relax and breathe, I asked what her favorite flower was. When she told me it was a yellow rose I told her to pretend she was smelling the rose and then blowing out a candle. I wrote it on the white board in her room and her husband told me later that she kept repeating it over and over, ‘smell the rose; blow out the candle.’”

More about Hinson:

  • He has an Australian Shepherd named “Elvis.”
  • He has taken medical mission trips to Kenya and the Dominican Republic.
  • His co-workers presented him with an award during Nurses Week “Most Likely to Travel.” He is frequently jet setting to such places as Mexico, Iceland, France, and Honduras.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email tfender1@iuhealth.org.