I was rushed to St. Joseph due to an abscess on my back. Three days later I underwent surgery to drain the abscess and clean the area of infection. The surgery was a success. The end result was the placement of a wound vac to continue drawing any fluids from the area and to promote healing.
I was assigned to a room where I was turned over to the care of the nursing staff, and monitoring by the doctors involved in my surgery. This is where my journey to healing began, and this is where I met some of the most wonderful, caring, and compassionate people I have ever met before.
During my stay, I was placed under the care of many nurses and Patient Service Team members (PST's). The RN's are as follows: Katlin, Devon, Carmen, Taylor, Rachel, Kim, Jesse, Margaret, Allison, Kathy, Mai, Amanda, and Cathy.
I want to talk a moment about these nurses and my interaction with them. Each time they entered the room they were cheerful and polite. They were patient with my many questions and answered them in a language I could understand. Never were they short or terse with me even when I knew they were very busy with intakes and discharges and caring for other patients on the floor.
I was very conservative with the call button, and in a small sense, I believe they appreciated that. I only used it when I truly needed them. However, they very consistently came into the room outside of medication dispensing to check on me, to see if I was comfortable or if I
needed anything. These nurses collectively were going above and beyond their normal duties with me as I had some issues with the wound vac leaking.
Nurses Rachel and Jesse at different times, both spent a few minutes working on the leaks to get them stopped. They were both successful. Notably, Jesse spent roughly 10 minutes on her knees behind me attempting to plug the leaks while they waited for the appropriate staff from the wound clinic to arrive to fix the leak.
I was going through a wound vac sponge change, which is not a pleasant procedure as it was quite painful. Nurse Katlin stood by my side talking me through it, comforting me, rubbing my arm saying things would be okay and that I was doing great. You do not know how comforted I felt throughout the procedure with her by my side gently talking to me, helping me to stay calm.
Once the procedure was completed, Katlin came back to the room when she had a moment and sat with me for a bit. She told me she thought I was handling the situation extremely well considering the size of the wound and the fact that the procedures are painful. I am very grateful for Katlin being there that day. It could have been any other nurse, and each and every one of them may have done the same thing. However, in this case, it was Katlin and she proved herself to be a very capable, caring, and compassionate nurse exactly at a time I needed that by my side.
Each and every one of the nurses, in one way or another, provided compassionate care and comfort to me. They all had a wonderful sense of humor even when I knew they were busy. They were always cheerful and took the time to get some ice water or juice for me. I thanked them for their patience to which they always said they were just doing their job. I can firmly attest that they do their job extremely well.
I want to thank the Nurse Manager, Sarah Simon for stopping by my room to see how I was doing. She would ask if I needed anything, and if the nursing staff was being attentive to my needs. My answer was always yes, yes, and yes! It was clear to me that Sara cared about my level of care and comfort just as much as each and every nurse that helped throughout my healing and stay at St Joseph. The Clinical Leader, Chelsea also stopped by to check on me, which was also appreciated.
I would like to thank doctors Francis, Girgla, Aziz, Nassif, and Yaldo for their constant care and supervision of my case. I was visited daily by at least one if not two or more every single day of my stay. They gave me guidance as to how to care for myself after discharge, which is proving to be a very large part of me getting the hang of living with a wound vac day-to-day.
I would like to take the time to talk about the Patient Services Members that cared for me during my stay. They were Jacqueline, Henry, Kali, Kaya, Petecia, Alphonso, Frank, and Val. Each of these PST members were very attentive. They were frequently in my room taking vitals and asking if I needed anything. Henry was a quiet gentleman. He was so polite and calm and always asked if there was anything he could do for me, and to not hesitate to hit the call light if I needed anything. He is a great part of the Patient Services Team.
Next, I would like to talk a bit about Jacqueline. Her compassion came out the morning after I had a wound vac sponge change. The procedure was painful and throughout the night, I experienced quite a bit of discomfort. Cathy did her best to manage the pain in accordance with the pain management plan, but it remained a rough night for me.
The next morning at shift change, I sat up in bed and it hit me. It had been a close call. My body was broken. I wept and Jacqueline stayed with me comforting me, talking to me. I guess I had to have that moment to realize I had to learn new things regarding living my life.
Jacqueline remained at my side until I managed to get myself together. Again, one of your staff helped me through a critical moment. I appreciated that and I appreciated her staying with me. It meant more to me than I can express.
I would also like to talk about another PST member, Kali. I had a knee replacement previously which I never really had an opportunity to break-in due to my falling ill. My new knee was stiffening from lying in bed and sitting. I mentioned it to Kali and she always made time to get me up and walk me around the floor to exercise my knee. I appreciated that so much and thanked her profusely. She was always happy to walk with me.
These are the moments Management rarely sees. It is at these moments that the nursing staff switch from provider to comforter, the moments when patients crack and feel torn and broken. These are the moments that test the PSTs and nurses. It should never go unnoticed, hence the reason for me writing to you to explain my appreciation for these nurses and PSTs.