During administration rounds, a leukemic patient undergoing treatment on the Hematology/Transplant Inpatient Unit was interviewed who, in turn, shared his hospital experience. The patient expressed the challenges he encountered by virtue of his disease course and treatment process that made it often difficult to endure. Because of his immunocompromised state, he was required to stay in hospital under isolation and continuous monitoring for ongoing protection and to minimize any exposure to infection.
Amongst several precautions laid upon the patient to ensure his safety and optimize his care, the patient was ordered a specialty diet to limit his diet to those food items that protected him from organisms that could predispose him to infection. Per the patient, this Low Bacteria Diet lacked variety, particularly being in the hospital for an extended time with repetitive items and was generally tasteless.
Despite all the clinical challenges he experienced, he continued to express his gratitude for the nursing attention and care that were imparted to him. His symptoms were properly managed as best as possible, and his needs were attended to in a timely manner. But the patient wanted to remark on one nurse in particular who was not only attentive to his needs and concerns but delivered kindness that was specific to him and made his long stay in hospital more bearable. The patient reiterated his dislike for the limited menu with Nurse Stasia. Stasia listened to his concern and took the time to offer other alternatives for food choices, without compromising his health. “Maybe a family member or friend can bring in some homecooked food of your preference or can bring in frozen dinners. Both still fall into the parameters of the low bacteria diet.” The patient responded that he did not have any family or friends available to accommodate those alternatives.
Stasia took the patient’s concerns to heart. Before returning to the unit for her next working shift, Stasia went to the supermarket and purchased a few frozen dinners to bring back to her patient. Bringing some satisfaction in this form meant it would give him that little comfort to better cope with all the challenges associated with his illness.
The patient shared with the administrators that Stasia’s act of kindness and consideration were never to be forgotten. Such a gesture truly touched him. She not only brought him joy with the actual food items but in doing so, it also showed Stasia’s compassion and caring disposition.
Stasia went that extra mile in making a difference in delivering genuine acts of kindness for a patient. She made the impossible, possible. Stasia brought meaning to the bedside of a patient in uplifting his experience and giving him that added reassurance. Thank you, Stasia.