Rick Bernardi

Rick Bernardi

Rick Bernardi, ADN, RN

Trauma Surgical Critical Care/Neuro Critical Care
The University of Tennessee Medical Center
Knoxville, Tennessee
United States
While the (homeless) patient was waiting for discharge, Rick grabbed his own coat and gave it to the patient.

Rick demonstrated a kind of genuine care that happens here, but is too often unnoticed or underreported.  A patient was being discharged, but was homeless.  His medical needs had been met, but medical needs were the least of his concern.  In the process of him becoming a patient of ours, his winter coat was cut and ruined.  Some calls were made on his behalf to area benevolent agencies and his bus ticket was held to allow him one more good meal.  While the patient was waiting for discharge, Rick grabbed his own coat and gave it to the patient.  It was a moment that I will not soon forget.  Rick explained about redeeming a personal experience that had been a disaster for a friend of his and wanted to make sure this man had a winter coat.  This man had been belligerent; the kind of person that fits a stereotype; the kind of person that needs us all, but pushes us away.  When Rick left the room, the patient asked me to find a way to thank him for the coat.  Rick demonstrated the spirit that goes beyond nursing.