Christina Harrington is the ideal professional nurse and an outstanding role model, delivering clinical skills with exceptional compassion and care. When I recently had my aortic valve replaced, her calm manner, playful humor, problem solving ability, excellent team communication and spirit, and high professional standards won my total confidence.
Christina observed and taught me carefully. Each day, she did a complete neurological check and explained meds and everything she was doing such as flushing a line, taking a blood sample or giving me Lasix. She regularly checked my pain level and administered meds as needed. She explained sensations I was having, how to stand and walk correctly, and encouraged every next step toward my greater health and independence. Her telling me what was going on gave me a sense of control, providing a sense of safety and emotional comfort, and paving the way for my confident recovery.
Christina did it all from technical activities to bed pans. She managed bags of IV medications, made sure my a-fib was under control bringing in a cardiologist to set the pacer, kept a close watch on my monitors, and adjusted the pacer as needed. She never let me know when my situation was a little touchy, just stayed steady and focused. She expertly pulled my big chest tube, prepping me well with simple explanations, telling me how to help, and maintaining a calm, confident manner. Her communication skill put me at ease. She was flexible in advocating for keeping my wires and central line another day until we were sure my heart was steady. She helped the Physician’s Assistant to painlessly pull my chest wires.
In addition to this technical work, she managed my urgent need for bed pans with grace and humor, helping me laugh through embarrassing situations. She walked me to the commode, and routinely measured output. Not glamorous work, but important to my comfort and health. This intelligent, well trained nurse humbly said, it’s just part of her job.
Christina’s communication and interpersonal skills with the medical team were outstanding. She introduced my family and me to the next shift’s nurse, easing the anxiety of that change. To the night nurse, she passed off critical information, setting up seamless shift transitions and continuity of care.
Christina’s sensitivity to my needs was remarkable. She was in tune with my ups and downs, offering straight talk when needed, and delightful humor to keep things light. Christina saw that my family and I were stumbling around an awkward room arrangement and she asked housekeeping to re-arrange my room into a much more workable set-up while I was on a walk. At mealtime, she encouraged me to eat and accepted me when I couldn’t. She didn’t miss a thing.
Christina was sensitive to my family’s needs, as well. She struck up a warm, genuine relationship with my grown daughter with pink hair, celebrating her charm and abilities. Many times, my family said what a rare nurse Christina was.
By her words and actions, Christina showed she loves her job, her team, and caring for patients, especially cardiac patients. We hugged goodbye, and I felt sad to leave her. I am so grateful for her dedicated professionalism and tender heart.