We've all heard the quotes and read the stories of how nurses miss lunch, hold their pee, and rarely take breaks. We come to work early, and often leave late. As a nurse, you are probably shaking your head as you agree with the all too familiar sacrifices that each one of us make on a daily basis as a health care provider. What makes it all worthwhile is the smile on our patient's face and the gratitude from their families in acceptance of the care we provide. What we rarely hear or read about are the nurses who choose to hold their pee and miss lunch to stay with a critical patient. The nurse who decides to leave late to make sure his patient is stable, all while knowing this patient will never remember the care he/she received.
On this particular day, a patient was rushed to surgery for an abdominal bleed caused by ingestion of a foreign body. Following surgery, the patient was brought to the PACU for recovery. Jonathan was the nurse assigned to this patient. As soon as he received report, he immediately went to work. The patient was experiencing a lot of postoperative pain. She required multiple doses of IV pain medication which in turn made her nauseated and sleepy. When she would wake up she was very anxious and tearful. Jonathan comforted her with stories of his past. As sick as she felt, and as sedated as she was, he somehow had her smiling. Because of the nature of the patient's procedure, as well as the need for narcotics at frequent intervals, the patient was unable to be weaned off oxygen. In time, the patient's respiratory status declined. Anesthesia and respiratory therapy decided that the patient should be placed on BIPAP for assisted care. Jonathan explained to the patient in great detail what was happening to keep her as calm and informed as he could while the multiple doctors and respiratory therapist gathered around her bed to assist her breathing.
Without missing a beat, Jonathan was in ICU mode. The past experience he had with similar situations in many years of working in the ICU was now gleaming on his face. You could tell this was his comfort zone. While most recoveries only taken an hour, Jonathan had this patient for 7 hours. The entire duration of her PACU stay he sat by her side monitoring vital signs. Every time the BIPAP alarmed he was up and assessing the patient. When offered to be released for lunch, he replied, "I'm ok, I just want to make sure she's comfortable and I'm the only familiar face she knows right now."
When the decision had been made to transfer the patient to the inpatient ward for further care, I could see his hesitation to leave her side. He accompanied her on the transfer and stayed on the MSU with her until he was certain the accepting nurse knew every last detail to provide her with the best of care. Because of the amnesia properties of the general anesthetics our patients receive, along with the sedation status of this patient, she would probably never remember the care that Jonathan provided her that day.
Jonathan is dedicated, selfless, and compassionate towards his patients. He comes to work every day giving his all, expecting nothing in return. Jonathan sets the bar for Nurses here at Bassett and that is why he deserves this DAISY Award.