Acute Care Float Pool
Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine
Joseph talks with the patients, modifying his manner and his conversation topics until he finds out what connects with the patient.
Joseph is a highly skilled communicator and a brilliant force on our team. Patients frequently remember him and mention that his care was a bright spot in their hospitalization. He is an excellent role model for the kind of nonjudgmental care we all want to provide at Harborview; while he is providing excellent care, he talks with the patients, modifying his manner and his conversation topics until he finds out what connects with the patient. Then he will talk with them about sports, nature, travel—whatever interests the patient. He will be their buddy, their colleague, their dad—whomever they need with them. Recently I observed this in action when he stepped in to help care for a challenging patient with emotional and pain issues. The patient was cursing at staff, threatening to leave, and unable to lie still. While preparing the patient's pain medication, he talked easily with her, reassuring her that he was there to help her feel better while also engaging her with questions about her hometown. Two of us had been unable to calm the patient, but his relaxed, soothing manner and quick clinical skills visibly relaxed the patient, and she began responding to his questions while physically settling in the bed. Our team has had a lot of emotional stressors over the last year, and he has been active in checking in with his co-workers, including travel nurses, making sure that everyone feels welcomed and knows they have someone to talk to about personal difficulties. His warmth and generosity are known to all nurses, technicians, and doctors who cross his path.