Alex is in a unique position to practice her exceptional nursing skills. As the Hospice RN responsible for admissions to our out-patient service, she serves as more than just a team player, but as our team’s advocate, explaining to vulnerable patients and their families the benefits of our team approach to providing care. Alex has mentored our team, taking each of us with her on informational and admission visits, educating not only the patient and family, but each of us as well on the Hospice Philosophy of care. These visits also give her the chance to model one of her ultimate care-giving strengths – that of compassionate listening.
She routinely demonstrates her gift of sensitivity to the needs of her Hospice “peeps,” gently helping them find and define their own course as they consider end of life goals. It is then Alex can deliberately and precisely match the resources of the Hospice team, both clinicians and volunteers, to the recognized needs.
On a recent joint visit with Alex, I watched her sit on the floor at the feet of a new patient as if she were a student being instructed by an expert. She listened patiently, gently soliciting not only current vitals and worries and concerns, but the woman’s desires and plans and goals going forward. Alex tentatively offered her informed thoughts and ideas on how the stated goals might be met. It was clear from her smile and expressions of gratitude our new Hospice patient felt she had been listened to and heard, and I got to witness the art of medicine being practiced.
“Insightful” and “sensitive,” “advocate” for both patient and Hospice team, “team mentor” and “leader” all describe Alex. But in my view, it’s her ability and willingness to listen, with her heart as well as her intellect, which makes her a unique asset to our Hospice team, FMH, and the community, and more than deserving of the DAISY Award.