My mother was in the MICU for several weeks and we had the pleasure of Rachel being her nurse on numerous occasions. This was an extremely difficult time for my family and me because my mother is dying of terminal cancer, infection, and respiratory/kidney failure. Rachel’s outgoing personality always helped brighten the mood. I actually spent my 24th birthday by my mother’s side and Rachel made me a "Happy Birthday" sign to hang on the wall and had gotten me a slice of cake and ice cream. One morning she had asked me what my mom’s favorite colors are… then came back to the room with a beautiful prayer shawl in those colors and she wrapped it around her. She was constantly giving ideas to help make my mom’s last wishes come true. Rachel was so caring to come to my mom’s room twice, just to visit when she wasn’t even working, including Christmas day.
Her empathetic attitude truly shines through her, as she would share her own personal stories of family members. Rachel’s compassion definitely shines through!
My mother passed away recently in the MICU when my sister and I decided to focus on her comfort and remove life support. We ensured that we made our decision when she would have the most caring and compassionate nurse to care for her during the final moments of her life. After being in the MICU for more than a month, it was clear that Rachel was this nurse. She is always very professional, yet outgoing and kind enough to make you feel that everything is going to be alright. She shared numerous personal and work experiences with us to ensure us that we were making the right decision. Additionally, she made sure that my sister and I were as close and comfortable as possible during the final moments of our mother’s life. She ensured that the blinds were pulled tight, put a sign on the door and redirected other nurses/doctors from interrupting our privacy. Rachel kept a close eye on my mother and ensured that she was not in any pain or discomfort breathing. In addition, she volunteered to stay for more than three hours after the end of her shift in order to be with us and to see her through until the end. She wanted to make sure that all of us had the best experience possible and anything that we needed given the sad situation.
This particular day is just one example of how Rachel goes above-and-beyond the basic nursing responsibilities everyday with all of her patients. She was my mother’s favorite nurse by far after spending nearly 40 nights in the hospital to UPMC Hamot this year. Rachel was always able to cheer her up and even and even made her smile when she was intubated. Rachel’s personality fits greatly with the deep knowledge of critical and hospice care that she brings to the ICU from her time on 7 south. Her personal experience and recent hardships further this amazing individual into an even better nurse.
Rachel is the role model nurse that others should strive to exemplify both in knowledge and in patient care.