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The Right Place at the Right Time

Posted on November 14, 2022

FLAMES Winner – Whitney Harris

Emergency Department Employee Helps Patient in Parking Lot

At Fort Loudoun Medical Center, employees live by a pledge of excellence, which includes always putting patients first. Whitney Harris, CNA, a health unit coordinator in the emergency department, is dedicated to putting patients first, even when she’s not in the building.

For her diligence in caring for patients, this time in an unusual setting, a coworker nominated Harris for a FLAMES Award, which stands for Fort Loudoun Acknowledges Motivation, Excellence and Service. This award recognizes Fort Loudoun caregivers and support staff for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Emergencies can happen at any time, in any place. When a patient had a medical emergency in the parking lot, Harris was quick to respond. She performed the necessary life-saving measures until more help could arrive to transport the patient into the hospital and provide more care. Because of her prompt actions, the patient had a good outcome.

“Whitney embodies our motto of ‘patient first,’” says Emily Ingram, MSN, RN, emergency room nursing manager. “She was clinically ready, having been trained for moments like that. She responded without hesitation and continued to care for the patient after the initial encounter. She also followed up with the patient afterward and made sure they were okay.”

This is the second time Harris has performed life-saving measures in the hospital parking lot, and the second time she has received the FLAMES Award because of her prompt actions in these situations.

“It is an absolute dream to be given this award a second time,” said Harris. “I honestly just happened to be in the right place at the right time to help someone in need. Helping people has and will always be my goal.”

Harris pursued her career in medicine after witnessing an accidental overdose inspired her to want to be able to help others. Right after this occurred, she looked into becoming a certified nursing assistant and started classes one year later. She has worked at Fort Loudoun since 2012, where she started on the medical surgery unit. A year later, she transferred to the emergency department, where she has served her patients since.

“The ER is my place,” said Harris. “I feel so much at home and have gained such a great second family. I absolutely love my job and hope to be here for many years to come.”

Ingram says, “I have worked with Whitney for only one year, but she is truly the glue that holds our department together. Having an employee like her that is so involved in the success of our department is truly a blessing. She is a staple and an asset not only to the ED, but to the hospital as a whole.”

To nominate a caregiver or support staff member at Fort Loudoun Medical Center for a FLAMES Award, visit FtLoudoun.com/FLAMES.