Rachel Middleton has had a successful career spanning several years and touching a tremendous number of lives. This includes the life of M, who is fighting ovarian cancer and recovery from surgery where she became septic.
Rachel’s nursing intuition is so “spot on” that it is no surprise that many of M’s steps forward have been on her shifts. Many days when M was under Rachel’s care, Rachel would say, “Driving into work this morning, I was thinking about the best way to get M up or help her walk farther.” She always had just the right tone, and used just the right words to motivate M, as well as keep her spirits up after a setback. To help M and her family pass the time of chemo and much bed rest, Rachel got a TV and DVD player moved to M’s room and brought a newly released movie for us to watch.
Rachel’s excellent nursing skills have been displayed daily taking care of hygiene, meds, getting a recliner for M to sit in, discussing her case with doctors, but were exemplified when M’s heart rate dipped into the 30’s 4 times one day, and in a separate situation when M aspirated. During those times, Rachel stayed calm, was clear thinking, and moved with quickness and skill. She not only handled M’s situation, but kept us in the family calm.
One very positive memory M and I have taken with us was the day M got to go outside after six weeks of hospital stay. It was the optimum day – warm, sunshine, light breeze, and a high white count. Rachel had to do a lot of coordinating to pull this off. She had to get okays from the oncologist, pulmonologist (who she had to track down over four floors), and the infection disease doctor. She got a wheelchair, wrapped M up, and we wheeled her outside for about 40 minutes, which M smiled through the whole time, and when I think, for the first time, M really felt alive.
M has received excellent care here at Baptist from all nurses, doctors, and support staff, but because of her exemplary care of M and our whole family, we feel that Rachel deserves the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.