I am the manager of Invasive Cardiology and I have the honor of nominating two staff members, one from the Cath lab and one from Cath lab Pre-Post recovery. It may be unusual to nominate two people for the award but in our world, we could not impact our patient’s lives as we do without it being a team effort. As we focus on patient experience, promoting understanding, and perceptions of the community, this case shows that the “little things” (not the grand gestures) are what inspires faith and confidence in Mission Hospital.
I was privileged to receive a letter from a patient. I will include an excerpt from his letter. “I have had a number of experiences with Mission Hospital’s emergency department and several cardiac care areas. I was admitted for a cardiac catheterization, and the nursing care (and caring) afforded me and my family was so very outstanding and thorough that to this day, I have not forgotten those who cared for me.
Chasity Fender, RN – absolutely the best nurse I have encountered ever at Mission. What an example for others to emulate. So very thorough and clear with instructions and explanation to me and my daughter before and post procedure. To the point of opening all containers and food presented when I could eat post procedure and placing the over bed table close to me so I could easily access everything. A simple gesture but for me so very meaningful. She made me feel she cared--that I was not just a number or diagnosis. She epitomized my idea of what a nurse is (or should be); you are lucky to have her.
Also, Katherine Bryan, RN who took over my care from Chasity and into the Cath lab. Upbeat, and happy- very reassuring to any patient facing a serious procedure--how lucky I was to have her with me.
I worked as an RN until I became 80, when I decided it was time to stop. Sometimes, in the daily onslaught of competing priorities of the day, it can be forgotten that although patients and families are grateful for the complex procedures and exceptional outcomes that we do daily with such precision, it is the small gestures that make patients and family feel human. The things that are often seen as insignificant often make the biggest impact. The cold wash cloth you apply to a patient forehead, the warm blankets, and the comforting banter to take their mind off their vulnerable state, as they are being draped and prepped for a procedure. Setting up their tray and bedside table in anticipation of their first meal after being NPO. Holding their hand, and praying with them, when they are scared. Providing water, coffee or a kind word to a family that is waiting. Letting family cry when the outcome is not what they had hoped for. I could go on forever but these “little things” are what makes the greatest impact.
These are the “little things” that these two nurses provided that changed a man’s and his family’s perception of our hospital. I want to say I am humbled and thankful to work with my staff every day, and this is why I nominate Chasity Fender and Katharine Bryant for this award, because this patient and this behavior was not an isolated incident. This is the way they treat every patient, every day, every time… isn’t that what we would all want for our family?