I want to recognize Cliff for two reasons. One, he is a great teacher to patients and to his coworkers. He is knowledgeable and thorough with explaining everything. One time I heard him teach a very difficult patient about the need for Lasix. Never have I witnessed a nurse be so patient to someone until that day with Cliff. The patient had trouble understanding everything the doctors were telling him, but Cliff explained it so thoroughly that the patient eventually agreed to take the medication. Cliff positioned himself at the patient’s eye level and within hearing range. He made sure nothing was distracting the patient. He explained how Lasix works in words that were comprehensible to the patient’s literacy level. I was so impressed with him that day that I secretly vowed to be that kind of nurse when it comes to patient education. He doesn’t know this though.
He is also a great teacher to new nurses. Although he wasn’t my preceptor, he taught me a lot of things that were mind blowing and practically helpful. He teaches us like nursing school books. He backs everything up with rationale and not with “just because” or “that’s how we’ve been doing it.” He sets a great example for all other preceptors and new nurses showing that there is a reason why we do things a certain way, the proper way.
The second reason I want to recognize Cliff is because of how he cares for all the patients in the unit. He doesn’t just take care of his own patients but finds the time to actually help other patients and nurses. He is like a submarine, though he’s submerged in the water with “business”, he still has a periscope looking out for other patients and nurses in need of help.
One time when a patient was panicking because he couldn’t get his phone back from the property room in the ER. The patient was actively short of breath, anxious, and tachycardic. Cliff volunteered to pick the phone up from the ER himself just to help this patient out (who wasn’t even his charge) since no one was able to do so at that time due to the busy situation. This small act of kindness from Cliff helped the patient calm down and gain peace of mind. All symptoms of panic from the patient disappeared and he saved the nurses from having to deal with another unstable patient on top of other unstable patients.
No one realized the impact he made for that patient and to the other nurses until the following day when we realized what a busy day we had with a patient that coded 6 times, on CRRT, on restraints and was unfathomably impossible to stabilize, whom he successfully stabilized by the way. Imagine being so tired from a super busy day and having to walk down to the ER and back to the unit just to get a cell phone. That would probably be other people’s last priority given the busy start of the shift.
That small deed made him so respectable to me. Every time he does something magnificent, the more I idolize him and the more he inspires me to better myself. Everyone who works with him is challenged to be better, not by him, but by his actions. He inspired me to strive harder and not just by being a basic nurse, but by being extraordinary every day without expecting anything in return. Cliff is selfless, and all he does is give.