I am writing this letter on behalf of my son who was a patient at Piedmont Columbus Regional. Christina Branton, RN took care of my son while he was on her unit. Although I knew Christina was a new nurse, she never showed any signs indicating that she was. My son has the capability of a 2 month old infant. He has a feeding tube, a trach, is non-verbal, incontinent, has seizures and requires a lot of care routinely. My son was admitted with septic pneumonia. Needless to say, he is a lot to take care of for any nurse, much less a new graduate. However, while under Christina's care, my husband and I felt at ease and very comfortable knowing she was there to provide care. One of us is continuously at his bedside during any hospital stay. We provide most of his care to assist the care team from having to do it alone. During this stay, Christina actually insisted upon relieving us of those duties. She took the time to learn everything she needed to know about my son, with a smile and with enthusiasm. She addressed him directly by making eye contact and speaking to him in a calm manner. She did this knowing he could not communicate back with her. Christina showed him care and respect instead of pity. She encouraged my husband to sit down and relax while she assisted the tech in giving my son a full bath. Even though it took her 30 minutes, she did so without one complaint. After my husband told me of her actions, all I could think of was how I knew she had five other patients, but she acted as if my son was her only one.
Christina also supported me on several occasions, but the one that stands out was when she placed her hand on my shoulder when the physician informed me that my son would have to start on a dangerous antibiotic that could damage his kidneys. She knew how difficult that news was for me and without any words, she understood my pain and comforted me by placing her hand on my shoulder. My son got moved to the ICU and placed on a ventilator so his body could rest and during that time, Christina would reach out to me to check on my son and ensure we were doing alright. He did spend another week hospitalized and by the grace of God, was discharged home.
My son's admission was a very difficult time for me and my family. We were unsure at times if he would be returning home. I know our stay would not have been as tolerable without Christina's expertise and dedication. She is truly a blessing and I hope she maintains the same compassion throughout her nursing career as she displayed for the three days she cared for my son. We will be forever grateful for her strength and kindness. She could not have chosen a better-suited profession. You cannot teach compassion in school although it is the most vital asset a nurse will ever have. Christina has a demeanor about her that lets others around her know that she is dedicated, caring and has a genuine heart. I witnessed it with not only my son and my family, but also to her co-workers. My idea of a nurse is someone who encourages others, communicates appropriately, shows kindness, shows respect, is compassionate and is selfless. Now when I picture what that nurse would look like, I simply see Christina's face. I want her to know how her acts of kindness affected my son, my entire family and myself.