Christina Doss
November 2020
Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Harding Hospital




Christina's approach was kind and caring and she took the time to get to know my son and his interests. She was always patient and calm.
I am writing with a very humble and grateful heart. I would never have imagined I would be sharing this from a family perspective. For that reason and because my son received the most phenomenal, life-changing care I need to write.
I am a Nurse here at OSU and I am a proud mom of a college freshman. Like all of us, our family, specifically my son, dealt with many challenges with COVID and being isolated. We are a very active and social family so this was a challenge. Although I thought we were making it through the best we could like everyone else was, we were not. I got the call at midnight that forever changed our lives. My son had a very serious suicide attempt and was in route needing hospitalization. I was panicked and hysterical and was thankful I had a rapport with my manager to trust calling at midnight asking for guidance. She was familiar with the system and I just wanted to know I was making the best decision for my son. The next 24 hours were crucial as we all know how the admissions process works. Beds were full all over Columbus and I was scared for him and how alone he must be feeling. I decided to have my son transferred to Harding and they made the admission process seamless and quick.
While I was nervous that people would know us and our situation, I was reassured this could be any of us, nobody would judge and they would take good care of him. From the second I humbly entered through the door as a family member and cried, I was treated with compassion and empathy. The second my son saw me he smiled and hugged me, I was reassured. The next week, he spoke of many staff members who were so helpful from Nurses, Occupational Therapists, PCTs, and even the unit coordinator who was known as his second mom.
There was an Extraordinary Nurse who my son said spoke to him for over an hour multiple times. Her name is Christina Doss. I believe she exemplifies the characteristics of The DAISY Award. Her approach was kind and caring and she took the time to get to know my son and his interests. It became obvious to her quickly that he was very active and that was a positive outlet for him. He asked if there was a gym or something patients could do. Many times, at Harding, staffing ratios determine how trips can be made to take groups for physical activity. My son remembers her sharing she has a household full of boys and she gets it. She made sure when she was working to get patients and him to the gym. Oftentimes as staff, we underestimate the little things we can do for patients, and how that is perceived as caring and anticipating someone's needs can be so meaningful. Often these requests from patients can come at busy times but Christina never seemed bothered or interrupted. She was always patient and calm. My son eats me out of house and home, so I was so worried about making sure he was getting enough food and worried it would be bothersome to staff. I would bring in bags of food each trip to make sure he wasn't hungry. To hear Christina made him feel taken care of was reassuring.
Without me asking or calling, Christina clearly wanted to reassure me as a worried mother and shared how she collaborated with the treatment team and what the plan of care was. She and my son identified risks and triggers that he didn't realize were making him feel more isolated and depressed and made a list of what he could do. When I called to talk to him that day, she took the time to say "you're a really good mom." I think I needed to hear that at that moment and I believed she was genuine. When something happens like this often you think you should have done more. Christina was able to start some dialogues by being neutral and non-judgmental which helped my son make some life decisions when he got home that were difficult but needed to limit isolation and depression risks. She truly has a gift to talk to people naturally and make people feel comfortable.
Since my son has been home, he has been able to share his experience with many of his peer group, and subsequently, 1 close peer took advantage of the Harding Outpatient program and another peer got over the stigma and is trying medication. Often our dialogues at our house with peers are over wellness initiatives and stigmas. I am so very proud of him and the work that started with Harding. He is almost finished with his first quarter as a college freshman, has straight A's, and is working part-time. I will forever be grateful for Nurses like Christina Doss who advocate for mental health and wellness and give exceptional care to patients every day.