Recently we had a patient in our unit that was very apprehensive and scared about going into a nursing home. Her anxiety was causing her to become very emotional and needing lots of reassurance. Dave took over care for the patient and they instantly hit it off. Upon walking into her room, he noticed a picture of Tom Selleck or "Magnum PI". After half the day, the patient felt reassured and opened up to Dave revealing to him that Tom helped her relax and that he reminded her of him. Not only in mannerisms, but also physique (Tom being 6'5" and Dave being 5'5"). Dave could tell with all joking aside, the patient was still apprehensive, nervous and scared for her upcoming situation. Dave approached me and asked if he could wear his Hawaiian themed shirt the next day to work. He told me the story about the patient and her fears. Immediately, the only word I could say was “absolutely”. Dave had a big grin.
The next day came around and there Dave was, in a blue obnoxious Hawaiian shirt, and a huge Tom Selleck grin! He walked into the patient’s room and pulled open the curtain. The patient was so excited and happy. This brought so much joy and laughter throughout her heart and our unit. What brought the story to a close, was our social worker made sure that the nursing home the patient was going to had a picture of Tom in her room when she was discharged.
Dave went above and beyond helping out in an area most people are very weak in: mental health. He could have written the patient off as an anxious person and avoided the room completely. Instead, he delivered compassionate care in a simple way. Going out of one’s way to display such compassion in a random act of kindness helped demonstrate Mercy's Mission and core values of keeping the patient at the center focus. His professionalism at instilling the environment was in a healing nature by promoting a sense of ease and peace with this patient made a potentially difficult situation for a person into an easy process.