Melissa is often described by her peers as an angel, or an excellent nurse. As her manager, I am often told by patients and families alike that Melissa was outstanding. She advocates for her patients and stays by their side during difficult or painful procedures. Melissa researched how to obtain a hearing amplifier for her patient who was recently diagnosed with an aneurysm that affected his hearing. She expressed sympathy for his hearing loss and spent time trying to find a better communication tool. Melissa connects personally with each of her patients and is often seen sitting by the bedside or taking a walk around the unit spending quality time with them. Melissa's peers often state that if they were a patient they would want Melissa as their nurse. She daily demonstrates the "art of nursing."
One patient's husband took the time to email me about Melissa. In his words he wrote, "One of your nurses clearly shines the brightest in a constellation of shining stars. Her name is Melissa and if there were ever a role model nurse, she would be it. Her nursing skills are in perfect balance with her caring for the patient and family. She far exceeds our expectations and raises the bar to a level that one could only imagine." This patient's husband was always at his wife's bedside after she suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. Melissa was her primary nurse many days in the 6-3 step-down. He voiced how Melissa was meticulous and always explained everything she was doing. She remained in the room long after other nurses might have hurried off to do other things. Melissa never appeared rushed or unable to spend the time explaining the plan to the husband or his wife. She consistently spent time washing his wife's hair and making sure she was clean and tidy for when visitors came. He told me that he was scared most nights and when his wife was first moved out of the ICU to the stepdown unit he didn't know how he could go home and leave his wife. But then he met Melissa and he immediately felt her compassion and dedication. He felt her confidence and trusted Melissa enough to leave for the night. His words in his email, although short, convey how much Melissa's nursing care meant to him and his wife. Melissa nursed her to a better state of health and she has since been discharged.
On one particular weekend Melissa was recognized by her peers for going above and beyond. A visitor for one of the patients on 6-3 was complaining of feeling dizzy and weak. She was given a chair to sit on but continued to feel dizzy. Melissa quickly took it upon herself to assess this visitor more thoroughly. She took her vital signs and found her to be hypertensive. The visitor declined Melissa's advice to go to the ED, but Melissa persisted. Her expertise in neuroscience nursing made her feel that this visitor needed immediate care. After much cajoling, another family member took the visitor down to the ED. They returned later to let the staff and Melissa know that she had been admitted to the Neuro ICU after a CT scan revealed a "bleed on the brain." Melissa's assessment and persistence made a significant difference, perhaps saving this visitor's life.
Melissa has many letters in her employee file from patients and families that outline her dedication to her nursing care. She is detailed and outstanding in her neuroscience expertise. This specialty nursing involves strong advocacy for patients who are unable to speak for themselves. Their diagnoses are often life altering and Melissa's calm manner helps patients/families adjust to their new challenges. She is an outstanding nurse who exhibits true compassion and dedication in her daily work and a true DAISY Nurse.