One morning as I entered work at 0800, I saw Beth sitting with an elderly woman in the West Atrium lobby. They sat together talking, occasionally holding hands until the woman’s ride arrived. Beth and I loaded up her belongings, assisted her into the car, gave hugs and stayed to wave goodbye to her until after 0830. Beth had been waiting with this woman for over an hour and offering her support after she had lost her only daughter earlier that morning. She had a stressed relationship with her daughter, but had reached some resolution before her daughter died. Beth was the one to pronounce the death of her daughter and provide ongoing support, even after her shift ended at 0715. This is the essence of nursing – to care for our patients and their families through all aspects of life, including death and grief.
Beth told me it was no big deal to stay late, and she said she knew this woman shouldn’t be alone. Beth even delegated a nurse aide who had cared for the patient overnight to stay with the Mother while Beth gave shift report to the oncoming Charge Nurse. Then she promptly returned to the side of this grieving mom.
Beth is known by all as a knowledgeable and experienced nurse – a true expert clinician. Beth is the whole package – she has the skills of compassion and kindness in all circumstances.