Brandi Richardson (pictured above, right) was truly in the right place at the right time.
A neuro nurse navigator at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center, Brandi was working in the community on the ONU HealthWise mobile unit one day this summer.
“It was actually only my second time out with the mobile bus,” Brandi shares, who is typically in the hospital on our neuro unit. In her role on the bus, she provides stroke education, stroke prevention tips and helps to triage patients as they arrive.
Brandi was doing just those things when a person came up to her and said they were cold and experiencing chest pain. It was sweltering day at 90 degrees.
Brandi’s training was in full swing. She inquired about any cardiac history and the person shared they had previously undergone open-heart surgery. Brandi and the team on the bus called 911 and the person was admitted to St. Rita’s for chest pain.
As it turned out, the person was having a heart attack and ended up staying in the hospital for a few days. Brandi went to check on them while they were there.
“Brandi is very dedicated, hardworking and compassionate,” Jody Swisher, Brandi’s immediate supervisor, shares. “It is no surprise that she was able to pinpoint this, given her skills and expertise.”
An eight-year veteran of nursing, Brandi says, “I love being able to educate people and being able to share what I know with others is very fulfilling.”
Brandi worked on the neuro floor for her first seven years as a nurse and becoming a neuro nurse navigator was a logical next step.
“In this role, I get to see aftercare, too, and I didn’t get to see that as much on the floor,” she explains. “I see all the stroke patients that come into St. Rita’s from the time they get here till they are discharged. I help guide their care and make sure they are getting what they need. It is awesome to see the recovery someone can make after a stroke. This position really suits me, and I feel at home here.”
As for the ONU HealthWise mobile unit, it delivers educational outreach and health care services to support the health and wellness of our community. We are proud to periodically partner with them on stroke education.
“It is rewarding in that we get to work with underserved people – many of these people do not have access to health care or they have reservations about going to the doctor,” Brandi says about working on the mobile unit. “I will absolutely work on the bus again; it is so rewarding to meet people where they are.”
ONU HealthWise is active in the Hardin and Allen County areas conducting health screening with the ONU HealthWise mobile clinic and other outreach events. The unit is parked at the Lima Public Library on the first Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.