I came to the 5West unit after being transferred from the ER due to a collapsed lung from a port placement puncture. I had a radical hysterectomy three weeks prior and was scheduled for chemo and radiation the next day. I was in pain, crying, hysterical and could not understand why this was happening to my family and me.
Natalie came on the unit at 7 pm. Instead of immediately taking vital signs, shoving a machine in my face or asking questions I did not feel like answering, she introduced herself to my husband and me and chatted with us about our children, whether I had dinner, had my husband eaten, and would he be staying the night, so she could start working on finding a reclining chair for him. My fears were calmed and I felt a warm, caring and compassionate person speaking to me, listening and responding.
Natalie demonstrated expertise when it came to administering my pain medication. I never felt that she was rushing to get to her next patient when she was taking care of me. On more than one occasion, she said she would be back in a set time and returned when she said she would or at least popped her head in and told us she would be several more minutes. This showed a high level of care for her patients, their needs and her ability to navigate each patient’s care. Natalie was so thoughtful, coming back to perform examinations that might cause me pain until after my pain medication took effect. Natalie made a point to converse about life outside of a hospital. As a patient, this is a great stress relief from the hospital setting and helps to alleviate some fears and worries.
Natalie never indicated she was too busy to address any of my needs or those of my husband or other family and friends who came to see me. She always had a smile, kind words to say, constant compassion, and reassurance that I was healing and improving. When I could not breathe very well into the spirometer, it was Natalie who reminded me of how much I was improving and the small tasks I had already accomplished and to keep trying.
Over the past month, I have been hospitalized many times. I can honestly say Natalie made my stay more comforting and less scary with her constant care, compassion, medical knowledge and empathetic humanization towards me. My mother had to come back one evening to retrieve a bag that she left in my room when Natalie saw her, she immediately asked about me and my family.
Natalie has demonstrated skills and compassion above and beyond the general care of nursing and does her job with a smile and ease that makes her patients and family feel valued, important and well cared for.