When I think of the qualities that embody the essence of nursing (compassion, advocacy, empathy), I always think of Teresa. She sees each patient as a unique individual. I can give many examples of Teresa going the extra mile for those placed in her care. One example stands out clearly to me.
Teresa was assigned the care of a patient who was being transferred from an outlying facility. The report indicated the patient was stable without deficits. Upon the patient's arrival, Teresa identified that the patient had been receiving suboptimal care. The patient was disheveled, unkempt, and unclean and had stage 3 pressure ulcers. Furthermore, the patient was alone and non-communicative. Teresa became an immediate advocate for this vulnerable patient. She discussed her concerns with her manager, spoke with the surgeon and hospitalist to discuss her concerns about the patient's preoperative condition. She compassionately addressed the physical and emotional needs of this patient by bathing her from head to toe and staying with her until a decision could be made about the course of her care.
It was ultimately determined that the patient was not a candidate for surgery. Teresa further advocated for the patient by garnering the resources of a multidisciplinary team (nursing, social work, and case management, risk management) to address the patient's complex care needs. Because of her work, a successful resolution was achieved that protected the patient's safety and dignity.
Teresa is the first colleague to respond to a call out for help. If she discovers a team mate is down on their luck or has experienced a tragic family event, she will rally the troops to collect monetary funds to assist in giving back. Her signature gestures for those colleagues who have lost a loved one are wind chimes. She includes a note with the gift explaining that the sound of the wind chimes are answered prayers for those we have lost.
Teresa has a great sense of humor and is well respected and loved by her peers. She is considered a mother figure, big sister, mentor and confidante. She is a role model for nursing and an asset for our profession.