Special Nursing Care for a Homeless Man

Beverly Pearson, MSN, RN, is a labor and delivery nurse at Ascension Seton Southwest. One day when she was floating in the emergency department with her colleague, JoAnn Lucas, BSN, RN, Beverly volunteered to help bathe and delouse a homeless man. The man was a recent arrival to Texas and had a long white beard. He was itching profusely and told the doctor who examined him that he had scabies, which he didn’t. However, Beverly and Joann discovered that the man did have an active case of lice.

When Beverly, who has worked at Ascension Seton Southwest for over 10 years, called down to the hospital pharmacy, she learned that a lice medication was on the formulary, but not in stock. So, Joanne took matters into her own hands and, after obtaining permission from the pharmacist, sent the OB tech, Lupita Barrera, to the local HEB pharmacy to purchase an over-the-counter lice treatment kit.

Beverly and Joanne worked together to wash the patient’s hair and meticulously apply the lice treatment. Although Beverly does not know what has become of the man with the long white beard (which she neatly trimmed with a suture removal kit), she feels good about what she did and is grateful to work in a small hospital like Ascension Seton Southwest.

At Ascension Seton Southwest, we feel like we are one big family,” she said. “I pretty much know everyone by name. You get to wear a lot of different hats in one little place.”