I am writing this nomination to recognize Nurse Pat Cummings who assisted me during my recent stay (12/06-12/09/10) on the orthopedic floor at Palmetto Health Richland, Room 827.
Unknowingly, Pat began her work with me long before I arrived for my total knee replacement. Almost a year earlier, I saw Pat accompanying her mother at our internist’s office in Columbia. Pat must’ve been walking with a cane because I asked her if she had knee problems. I was in line for a total knee replacement, but I was scared out of my mind. Pat said she had TWO total knees and that she was doing very well. She took the time to talk with me at length about the procedure and how much it had helped her. I was encouraged by her answers to my questions and her patience in providing the information.
We parted ways that day and I did not expect to see her again. You can imagine my surprise when I was recovering in Palmetto Health Richland, Room 827 and Pat Cummings walked in. I couldn’t place her for a few hours, but soon I asked her if I had met her before….in the waiting are of my internist’s office and she remembered me. What a coincidence! I think not. I think it was a small miracle that God sent me Pat and that I remembered our previous meeting.
Pat was one of the most attentive caregivers during my stay there. Not only did she answer questions regarding the total knee replacement but she understood the pain levels, the need for ice and my desire as a patient to be treated with dignity. Pat “hustled” endlessly to help with requests from me that had been called into the nurse’s station and not tended to yet. It might have been that I had no ice, needed something to drink, or the boots were still off from my bath….and the tech was busy elsewhere…or the need to use the toilet…and believe me, getting out of those boots and out from under the ice machine…with a new knee is not easy. Pat was always there for me reaching beyond her duties as a nurse into so many other areas to “make me as comfortable as possible”. Pat’s love of human beings is evident in her work. She sets an excellent example for people experiencing their first knee replacements. Palmetto Health Richland is lucky to have such a dedicated nurse who doesn’t mind getting her hands “dirty” and doesn’t mind covering for other workers as her goal is not only the medications she delivers but the TOTAL comfort of her patient. Outside of the hospital and on her orthopedic floor, Pat Cummings is a sterling example of what nurses should be. She is amazing and I hope so much that you will take the time to recognize this employee in whatever way you can. She is a team player and it shows in everything that she does. Not only did Pat take extraordinary care of me, she made certain that my best friend was taken care of with blankets and pillows and any information she needed…so small, but so handy, such as what time does the cafeteria open. Pat took the time to care about the BIG picture. It all makes such a huge difference in our lives. As “The Nightingale Pledge” states, Pat devoted herself “to the welfare of those committed to her care.” I was lucky to meet Pat Cummings and even luckier that she was there for me during a most difficult time. Thank you, Pat. I will always remember you and know that meeting you could not have been a coincidence.