In May, a sweet baby boy was born and admitted to our NICU. Due to his condition, none of us knew what to expect or how long he would be with us. The day shift nurse that cared for him was Hannah Kagel. The way Hannah cared for this baby was truly amazing. She cared for not only the baby but the parents, the grandparents, and the patient’s siblings. She showed grace, compassion, and true patient-centered care. She stood by their sides explaining everything she did and advocating for the baby to keep him as comfortable as possible. She even had post-it notes all over the computer to keep herself organized and to make sure she didn’t miss a single thing.
Being a smaller NICU, very acute patients are not typical but that by no means defines our ability to care for them. Hannah has been a NICU nurse for about 2 years and you would’ve guessed she’d been there much longer by the way she cared for this patient. She knew exactly what to say, what to do, and when to ask questions. Her calm and compassionate demeanor seemed to also calm the family and it was evident that they appreciated her presence. I only saw Hannah work for about 4 hours that day as I was coming onto the pm shift. Even in this short time, I could plainly see the relationship she had formed with the family she was caring for. She hadn’t had time for much of a break and when asked if she wanted to take a short break, she couldn’t bring herself to do so because the patient would be baptized soon and she wanted to be there again for the family and patient.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed what a great job Hannah was doing. We had a neonatologist filling in from Rochester at that time and he looked at Hannah and said, “You really have done a great job caring for this patient.” It isn’t often that a doctor takes the time to seek out a nurse to acknowledge the great care they have provided and this was wonderful to hear.