Betty Donovan

Betty Donovan

Betty Donovan, RN

Orthopedic Surgery and Medicine Unit
Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
Virginia Beach, Virginia
United States
Betty always asked what my husband’s pain level was and where the pain was, but she didn’t solely rely on the medication to help him; she put an ice pack on his incision area, adjusted his position with extra pillows, adjusted the bed, and did whatever it took to help minimize the pain and make him comfortable.

My husband was admitted recently after back surgery.  Betty was tied up with another patient when he was moved from recovery, so her charge nurse, Ryan got my husband set up initially.  I thought Ryan was wonderful and was disappointed that he wasn’t going to be our nurse for the night.  However, Betty came in as soon as she was finished with her other patient, and I was extremely happy with her.

This is my husband’s fifth hospital stay and Betty stands out as one of the best nurses he has ever had. When she came in, she apologized for not being available when my husband was brought up from recovery and she introduced herself and advised us who her charge nurse and the care partner were.  This is always good to know.  After that, she promptly turned her attention to my husband.  It was clear that her most important responsibility was to ensure that he was comfortable.  As soon as she addressed his needs she examined the bandaging to check that there was no drainage.  At that time, it was ok, so she told us that she needed to check on her other patients but would be back in to check on him.  She told us what medicines the doctor ordered, what they were for, and when he could have them.  She also said she would do a full assessment of him later that night.  She always asked what my husband’s pain level was and where the pain was, but she didn’t solely rely on the medication to help him; she put an ice pack on his incision area, adjusted his position with extra pillows, adjusted the bed, and did whatever it took to help minimize the pain and make him comfortable.  Betty did a thorough assessment of my husband.  She made sure he could move his feet, that he didn’t have any skin problems or other wounds.  She made sure the IV was just right.  I stayed almost the entire time he was there, just going home for a short time to shower after the doctors made their rounds.  She always asked me if I needed anything like blankets, pillows, drinks, etc.  I have never had anyone care about my comfort level except when I was in the hospital having babies.  It was a very nice gesture and it made a big difference to me that she asked.

Betty always made sure my husband’s carafe was full of ice water and that his table was free of trash.  She always made sure he had a supply of crackers, popsicles or jello.  She made sure the table was within easy reach for him, especially since he had his CPAP on it.  

My husband’s oxygen kept dropping, so she kept monitoring it and made sure he had his oxygen tube on or his CPAP on always. When his bandages started draining, she immediately noticed it and took care of it.  She started taking care of cleaning him and getting him a clean gown and changing the bed.  Before shift change, Betty came in to let us know that she was leaving and introduced the incoming nurse.  She asked if there was anything we needed before she left.

Nurses make all the difference in the hospital stay.   You want the best doctors taking care of you during surgery but after that, it is up to the nurses whether it is a great experience or just an added stress to a bad situation.  Betty was extraordinary. 

Betty is special – she loves her job.  She chose a profession that fits her perfectly because she is great at it and loves her patients.