Sara Danielson is the lead RN in the GI department. She is also a GI patient with a history of Crohn’s disease. On two separate occasions, Sara spent time with two of my patients. The first patient had been newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in his mid-60s. His first knowledge of this diagnosis was after he needed emergent colon resection. He was in our department for 6 weeks post-op for a scope. He had not received (or did not retain) much information on his diagnosis and treatment plan. Sara spent approximately one hour teaching him about the diagnosis, the medication available, and the foods he could start eating.
On the 2nd occasion, Sara had already left work for the day; I was caring for a man who had just been told he would need a section of his colon removed. He and his wife were older. The patient was not coping with this plan of care. He was expressing hopelessness about his situation. I called Sara and she came back to work to talk with the patient. She shared her own story about having colon surgery and said “look at me!” my life isn’t over! I am raising two kids, I work fulltime and am going strong. Now…you can too!”
The patient was still hesitant, but at least was able to start moving forward with his recovery.