Many times in life people are constantly impacting others but never receive the recognition they deserve. In our profession, we are constantly called to compassion and we play a vital role in our patients' outcomes. Mary does this every single day. I can list examples all day long of when she has jettisoned personal commitments to fulfill a promise to a patient or when one single action she performed brought immense relief and unspeakable joy to a patient or family member.
One time a patient was so upset that he basically was starving himself to death. Mary stood up and scheduled meetings upon meetings with physicians and other care providers to get the patient to the best level of care. When the patient was discharged he had a renewed sense of self and has embraced the will to live again.
Another example was when a patient, who had terminal cancer and was in distress, would not seek treatment. He was a large man who often became frustrated and occasionally violent. He gave up, was on his way out against medical advice, and Mary met him at the elevator, looked at him with tears streaming down her face and begged him to seek treatment. He looked at her, softened and came back to the unit. Mary won his trust that day.
Most recently, she had a patient who was mentally disabled, childlike, and with extreme psoriasis that left her looking like a burn victim. The patient would not participate in her care or get out of bed. Mary developed a care plan and saw the patient by giving her direct care daily. Due to psoriasis, it was impossible to have any dressing stay on her skin, so after exhausting all options with our wound care team, Mary contacted another hospital's burn unit to see what they used. The dressing worked and with the support of physical therapy, the patient, who had been bedridden, was walking the hall. She was able to be discharged to a rehab facility with plans of joining her family in Georgia.
What distinguishes Mary is her candor, gentility, compassion, and commitment to duty. Her moral compass is second to none and she is always willing to be a resource and a guide to all healthcare professionals.