Have you ever met an angel? Well, I have and it is in the form of a Registered Nurse (RN) named Jennifer Garabedian. I feel truly blessed to have someone like her helping me get through some extremely difficult times in my life. I am a patient and a 3-time breast cancer survivor. As you might imagine, I have been through some pretty difficult and scary treatments. Jennifer truly made a difference in my life in the care and compassion given me during my treatments. That made all the difference in the world and eased many of my fears and concerns.
I first met Jennifer with her freckles, red hair and a contagious smile in November 2009, shortly after undergoing a mastectomy for a recurrence of breast cancer. I have been receiving IV Infusions for17 months now (6 of chemo, and continuing Herceptin treatments), with an infusion every 3 weeks. Jennifer truly made a difference in how I faced those treatments. You see, I am a woos when it comes to needles. Jennifer eased my fears of IVs in such a way that it has made my every 3-week treatment a “nonevent.” Her care and gentleness is what really made the difference.
There have been a couple of times during a treatment that my Porta-cath acted up. One particular time was last October 2010. In spite of the fact that Jennifer was dealing with her usual busy schedule, she was also planning a special event in her life, her wedding. Regardless of all that was going on, Jennifer remained calm and was able to get my Porta-cath working in a short amount of time relieving me of much concern and anxiety.
Another quality that Jennifer displays is her genuine compassion. My husband Lin comes with me for my treatments. Jennifer has a unique way of relating to everyone she meets (patient, caregiver, etc.). This is such a wonderful quality. The way she expresses herself make us feel like she is family. Truly special!
Jennifer is always very attentive to my condition, progress, and treatments. She is quick to respond to any concerns and to research answers to questions in a timely manner. Not only does she care for her patients, she often will attend alarms for other RNs on the floor in the event that they can’t get to it right away. This is a true testament to her ability to multi-task and all of this while continuing to attend to me as if I was her only patient.
Jennifer’s positive attitude means so very much to cancer patients. Her whole demeanor is such a “blessing” to me, my husband, and other family members. She has the gift of lifting us up during tough times. It meant so…much to my husband and me last September 2010 when I was diagnosed with two brain tumors, one of those being inoperable. It was obvious to us when Jennifer became aware of the news she was very moved. Her concern for us was very sincere yet she remained encouraging. Her encouragement lifted my spirits so much and I know it contributed to my healing.
While Jennifer does not yet have years, and years of experience, her expertise as an RN is obvious. I’ve observed her caution to ensure that I’m receiving the right medication and the right amounts, before ever starting an infusion. Not only that, I’ve observed her meticulous efforts as they relate to sterilization, contamination, and other precautions as they relate to the patients as well as herself.
I am so very grateful to have an RN like Jennifer and could go on and on about her qualities. Three of my grandchildren are around Jennifer’s age and I am so very proud of each of them. It may be ironic, but I feel the same pride in Jennifer. I would hope that if any of my grandchildren go into a medical profession they would be just like Jennifer.
One area I haven’t touched on is her helpfulness. There have been many occasions that I was cold, needed something to drink, or needed a copy of a recent test. Jennifer was always extremely helpful in seeing that I received what I needed all while attending to a tremendous flow of patients and doing so with that contagious smile mentioned above.
My husband and I have wanted to find a way to acknowledge such a talented, compassionate, devoted and knowledgeable RN as Jennifer……… This award would be a way in which we could do that. Please consider Jennifer for this award. She is in our opinion an “Angel” and has made a difference in how we face this horrible disease.
Jennifer is a Registered Nurse at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center’s Massey Cancer Center at Stony Point in Richmond, VA. She graduated from VCU in 2006 with a degree in nursing. Jennifer is currently working toward her Masters in Nursing Administration and Leadership and is planning to graduate in December 2011.