We recently took care of a patient who required a lot of staff attention. The patient struggled immensely with her emotions. There was a great deal of team effort involved in caring for her each shift, attending to her concerns and grievances, communicating with her family, addressing her medical and psychological needs especially when she perceived that her needs were not being met. She would often call her parent who lived in another state to report that her needs were not being met by us. Needless to say, the patient's parent would immediately call the unit staff to ask why we weren't addressing the daughter's needs. This parent's worry and concern combined with distance from the daughter resulted in phone calls on a daily basis.
One evening, Aliyah Crawley happened to answer the phone when the patient's parent called. She listened intently to the father's concerns. She was well aware of what the team was doing to provide the best care for his daughter. Even with the parent seeming to share the daughter's distress, the nurse made the time to listen to his concerns, and was authentically present with the parent even though it was over the phone. She recognized and understood how distraught, helpless and powerless this parent felt as he tried to support his daughter's treatment. Aliyah's shift was ending; however, the conversation wasn't over. Knowing she was headed to work on another unit, she told the parent that she would call him back to continue their conversation.
Despite her ongoing nightshift responsibilities on the other unit, Aliyah returned the call to this parent as she promised. She listened, and also reassured him that we were following up on his daughter's needs. She also took the opportunity to make suggestions for a different way for the parent to respond when the daughter called in a distressed state. The parent was extremely appreciative of her conversation with him having felt heard. Later he would report that Aliyah's suggestions were extremely helpful to him. She definitely had a meaningful connection with this parent.
Although there were many challenges in this particular case for many members of the team, it was wonderful and rewarding to see how Aliyah's clinical skills, along with her immense compassion for a patient and the patient's parent made a major impact on both the patient and parent. Aliyah Crawley, BSN, RN, demonstrated empathy and a deep compassion which is why she is our DAISY Award Honoree.