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Seizing Every Opportunity to Make a Dfference

Kim Bracey, RN, helps a family stuggling to keep a loved one safe

Fortunately for one local family, Kim Bracey, RN of the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit is a life-long learner – on and off duty.  In addition to many years of service to CVPH, Kim has been a dedicated member of the Morrisonville Ambulance Service.  To be the best for her patients, at the bedside and in the field, Kim stays current with new practices, programs and services. It’s at one such EMS educational event that Kim met Sgt. William Dominy of the Clinton County Sheriff Department. That meeting would later make a true difference in the lives of a family struggled to keep their loved one safely at home.

Sgt. Dominy discussed WanderGuard, a system available to Clinton County residents that uses tracking technology for the search and rescue of people with cognitive disorders.  A battery operated bracelet or anklet is worn and should they wander and get lost,  a transmitter  would allow Sgt. Dominy to pinpoint the person’s exact location.  “It provides a sense of security for families.  They know, that after taking all the precautions, if their loved one still wanders off, we can find them,” explains Sgt. Dominy.

Kim was on duty in the Emergency Room when an elderly woman was brought in via ambulance. She’d been found sitting on a curb by the New York State Police. “She was confused and scared but basically uninjured. She didn’t know her name or where she lived.” As luck would have it, an ED staff member thought she recognized the patient and took a chance. “She made a call to the person she believed might be related to the patient and asked, ‘Are you missing your mom?’  Turns out the person was  looking for her mother.”   In fact, family and friends had been searching the neighborhood and surrounding woods for the elderly woman who had wandered out of the house.  The woman suffers from dementia and on this day, slipped out of the house while her husband made a quick trip to the garage.

During the course of her interaction with the patient and her family, Bracey remembered the presentation by Sgt. Dominy.   “I thought it would be of some help to them,” Bracey said. “I explained how their mom would wear a bracelet and should she wander, the Sheriff could use specialized software to locate her. “ The sheriff can pinpoint the exact location with WanderGuard,” Bracey explained.  The patient’s family left the ED with contact information for Sgt. Dominy and the hope of a safety net for their loved one.

Kim began her career not as a nurse but as a case worker for Social Services.  She later became a licensed practical nurse and after returning to school, a registered nurse.  Her involvement in the EMS system has always coincided with her professional endeavors.  A nationally certified paramedic, Kim is an active member of various departments including Morrisonville EMS, Lyon Mountain Fire-EMS, village of Dannemora-Saranac and North Country Life Flight.

As part of the CVPH patient care team, she’s worked in skilled nursing and the cardiac catheterization lab.  Today, she divides her time between the ED and ICU.  Her commitment to the health of her community, both on duty and off gives her a unique perspective on her patients’ needs and the opportunity to make a difference.

To learn more about the WanderGuard, contact Sgt. William Dominy at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department (william.dominy@clintoncounty.gov)