Michele Kulhanek

Michele Kulhanek

Michele Kulhanek, RN-V

Labor & Delivery
CHI Franciscan Health - Harrison Medical Center: Bremerton and Silverdale
Bremerton, Washington
United States

I was recently a patient in L&D to deliver my sweet baby boy, who had died prior to admission. During our 5 day stay, we encountered several amazing nurses, but Michele went above and beyond the call of duty in caring for me, my husband, and our stillborn son.

The things that stand out most about Michele are her compassion, sensitivity, and grace. I'm certain that without her, I would not have made it through our tragedy. Luckily, Michele was my nurse for 3 days. During the course of our time together, she handled my varied emotions (fear, anger, sadness, frustration) with confidence and such amazing compassion. I never felt alone or ignored with Michele as my nurse, even though I'm certain she had other patients to care for as well. Mine and my husband's well-being seemed to be her top priority.

In addressing Michele's "compassionate care", it's easy to overlook her clinical skills (the connection and trust seem to be what I most latched onto), though they shouldn't be ignored. I am a RN myself, so I know what safe, competent, and careful practice looks like. Michele's attention to detail, excellent communication skills (both with my physician and myself), and knowledge in her specialty instilled such trust and confidence. I never once felt like my care was compromised.

I will share two final experiences with Michele from my stay that will remain in my memory forever:

1. As I was finally delivering our baby, I remember looking up from my bed and looking into the eyes of each person surrounding me, one by one. I was crying and in such a state of emotional pain... The way each person looked back into my eyes told me that they were there; I felt incredible support and love in the midst of tragedy.

2. When it was finally time to leave our son and the hospital, we weren't sure how to do it - did we leave him in the room? Did we walk out alone, without even a baby in our arms? It was unchartered territory. Michele walked us through it, giving us choices along the way. My final memory of both my sweet son and of Michele is how she so gently came in (when we were ready to say our final goodbye) and wrapped him in a warm blanket, took a deep breath, and carried him out of the room with courage and confidence that helped us through the moment. She didn't want to leave him alone in the room when she walked us to our car. That final moment will forever be etched in my mind...

Without Michele's support, I'm certain we wouldn't have made it through such an awful, heart-wrenching experience.