We have had the pleasure of caring for an unfortunate gentleman who has been at our hospital for over 2 months. After his stroke, he had been deemed incompetent and needed to be placed in a facility. He is kind and gentle and never asks for anything. As staff, we all enjoy caring for him and cannot wait for the day that his social security is approved and he can be placed in a new home. On several occasions, we have offered to have his clothes washed, and he respectfully declined, stating that he already had someone to wash his clothes. We knew better, since he rarely had any visitors. Several weeks later, he came to me in the middle of the night and asked if there was any way to have his clothes washed. I told him that I would have the day shift charge nurse work on it the next day.
Jesse immediately took interest in helping our patient and took his clothes to the 3rd floor and had them washed. She stayed after her shift to retrieve the clothes, folded them and returned them to the patient.
On the same night, it was made known to me that the patient had broken his glasses. The notes from the CRM stated that his social security would not be approved for at least another month, and that even though occupational therapy suggested that his glasses be fixed for optimal therapy, they understood that there was no funding, and that the patient would not have functional glasses until his insurance kicked in. Jan was informed of this information, and since her husband is an optometrist, she asked our patient if she could take his glasses to her husband and see if he could fix his glasses. She was able to get them fixed, and brought them back to him the next afternoon.
When I cared for him that night, he was overwhelmed. He is always kind and cheerful, but on this one night, he could not stop smiling. He mentioned many times how wonderful his clothes smelled, and that he could see his book that he was reading because Jan had his glasses fixed. These might be the simplest acts of kindness, but they deserve attention. Our floor tends to always have a population of patients that are stuck in limbo until insurance is approved, or a facility accepts them. I know our critical thinking skills always save patients that are in medical danger, but it is these simple acts of kindness that have allowed me to enjoy working on this floor. Thanks to Jan and Jesse, this one appreciative patient was shown compassion that he did not expect.