This patient describes with unsurpassed eloquence the profound impact that a caring healthcare team can have on healing and outcomes.
Note: names of patients and families have been changed for privacy reasons.
To the expert, kind, humorous, patient, professional, generous, dynamic, and otherwise incomparable nursing staff of 4NE-
On behalf of my family, friends, colleagues, associates, and anyone else who’s glad to see me alive, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the life-saving and soul-inspiring care you’ve provided me these past six months. You…guys…rock!
You are masters of safety and detail. No line cap went unwiped, no pill went swallowed without a wristband check, no bag of blood or platelets went in without a two-person recital, no drop of Vitamin Water (or urine, for that matter) went uncounted. I felt like a high-priced piece of machinery surrounded by the world’s best engineers. To know that I was in competent and vigilant hands was a tremendous comfort for which I am eternally grateful.
You guys also deserve credit for always respecting my humanity and personality. You never gave me a hard time about having so many guests. Quite to the contrary, you befriended my guests and offered them cots, fresh linens, ice cream and breakfast trays. You recognize the vital role that outside support plays in patient care. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me – both the outside support I received, and your welcoming attitude toward it. You were also flexible, patient, and thick-skinned enough to accommodate my many quirks. Mr. ______ is fiercely protective of his privacy and productivity, and so I know he (I) sometimes acted as though bothering him for a simple set of vital signs was like asking to pull his teeth. While I occasionally lost my cool, you guys never did, not once. That’s a glowing testament to your professionalism (otherwise known as the ability to tolerate childish behavior from adults). What’s more, you guys worked with me to fashion rules, policies, door-signs, special accommodations – whatever it took to achieve a resolution considerate of both my personality and my safety.
Good nurses treat the patient. Great nurses treat the person. As future lawyer, let me say that there is overwhelming, dispositive, incontrovertible evidence that you guys are of the latter category.
And then there are so many little things that you did to promote my health and improve my mood. The cafeteria left an item off my lunch tray? You guys would apologize, even though it was in no way your fault, and quickly order me a replacement. Nurses who weren’t even assigned to me would pop in to say hi and wish me well. I’d arrive in my room and notice that certain desirables were missing: exercise bike, hand weights, extra chairs. Like Johnny-on-the-Spot, you guys would track them down and haul them in. The morning shift helped me start my day off right, enabling me to grub, shower, review my labs, pop my morning pills, and generally plan out of the day. PM shift administered my neupogen with minimal bruising, brought me my night pills so I could sleep, and spoiled me with all the ice cream I could eat. Night shift brought me fresh pillow cases and linens if I soaked them through with sweat, and they often did a masterful job of slipping in and out of my room like ninjas, causing me little-to-no interruption, and enabling me to snore the night away. From shift-to-shift, around the clock, there were fine touches that made me feel cared for and special.
No one wants to be in the hospital. But if you have to be in the hospital, you dream of being in a place like this.
Colleen – every member of your staff deserves a massive raise! You too deserve a massive raise! You simply can’t put a price on the kind of nursing you guys provide, nursing that not only heals the patient but also soothes, inspires, and rejuvenates his mind, body, and soul. You guys made me better, all around. That goes above and beyond the call of duty. I thank you not just patient to nurse, but also person to person, soul to soul, for saving and improving my life.
Someday, I will return to 4NE, hopefully not as a patient, but as a nostalgic and grateful visitor. It would be my dream to see each and every one of you and thank you personally. Maybe over time I’ll be lucky enough to do so. If not, please know that I’ll never forget the kindness, compassion, and the masterful (world-class, badass) care you provided to this dude who wandered into the ER after his Evidence final complaining of night sweats and shortness of breath. You knew exactly what that dude needed, and you delivered, dazzlingly. That dude cannot thank you enough, not in a million lifetimes. But that won’t stop him from trying. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
With unexhaustable thanks,
your patient, Joseph _______
PS: thank you times infinity to the infinity times infinity power!