Barbara is a shining example of what it means to provide compassionate care. Barbara takes the time to dig beneath the surface with each and every patient. Our patients trust her completely. It is not uncommon to see a patient sitting in a chair with fear all over their face. After minutes with Barbara, that fear dissipates and relief replaces it. Relief that they are being cared for by a nurse who is not task-oriented, but patient-oriented and is truly invested in their outcome.
We had the absolute pleasure of caring for a young man with down syndrome undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer. This gentleman was terrified beyond words, in particular of the port needle. Barbara intuitively sensed what he needed. She slowed everything down for him, exhibited incredible patience and managed to complete his treatment with as little emotional distress to the patient as possible. Witnessing Barbara care for this young man was not only impressive but deeply moving. The bond that formed between them as he went through his treatments was beautiful. He felt safe in Barbara's care. This feeling of security was the basis from which all future therapeutic treatments could be given. This relationship is a wonderful example of how nursing is not only a science but an art form. Barbara is a master at her art.
Barbara expertly cared for a patient battling stage 4 colon cancer (will refer to her as Mrs. O). Mrs. O was a proud and quiet woman. Over her time treating in our office, her performance status continued to decline. Barbara was able to pick up on subtle, nonverbal clues that this patient was struggling. Because of Mrs. O's trust of Barbara, she was able to open up about symptoms that she had not disclosed before. A couple of months later, Mrs. O's husband passed away. He was her primary support and devoted spouse. Barbara made sure that Mrs. O had the support she needed without her having to ask. Mrs. O's loss was acknowledged. She knew that Barbara would advocate for her, listen to her and truly care for her. Mrs. O is a patient still and it is apparent that Barbara is still watching out for her and looking for those subtle clues that may not be apparent to most of us.