Coreen Enright
February 2023
9C Psychiatry
University of Michigan Health at Michigan Medicine
Ann Arbor
United States




Coreen has a phenomenal ability to know what her patients need without being told. I never felt like I had to explain myself or justify my emotions with her. She has a genuine interest to understand me.
Coreen showed me unbelievable kindness while I was on the unit. Being hospitalized for any reason is frightening and overwhelming, but psychiatric hospitalizations carry another element that often causes patients to feel alone and like they have no control over their care. This was my first psychiatric hospitalization. I was terrified and had no idea what to expect. Coreen was my nurse the very first morning. She helped me navigate the most difficult part of my stay and made me feel welcome and cared for.

Over the next week, I was lucky enough to have Coreen as my nurse nearly every day. We spent a lot of time together and were able to build a special connection. Coreen helped me through several difficult emotions and sat with me when I needed someone to talk to. It is hard to choose specific examples of the exemplary care that Coreen provided because she gave her all, 100% of the time. It was beyond evident that Coreen truly loved the work she was doing and wanted to help each and every patient she encountered as much as she possibly could. Coreen interacted with everyone she came in contact with, not just with patients but other staff members and visitors on the unit, showing tremendous kindness and care. I never heard her sound impatient or annoyed. Even after a full day’s work, when I am sure she was tired, Coreen was nice to everyone and constantly worked to help others and provide impeccable care.

I remember one morning, Coreen came to my room, looked at me, and said ”I’ve been thinking about you a lot since our chat the other day. Have you heard of Brene Brown? I think that you could really benefit from some of her work.”

I had in fact heard of Brene Brown, and that allowed Coreen and I to bond over how much we loved her. Later that afternoon, we watched one of Brene’s TED Talks together and discussed the elements that applied to what I was going through. The next day, Coreen came into my room with one of Brene Brown’s books that we had discussed the day before. She knew that reading was something that I really enjoyed and used reading to relax and relieve stress. She was able to tie an activity that I Iove into something that would be beneficial to my recovery. Coreen also gave me an assignment with the book. The assignment was to read the book and then write a letter to her explaining everything that I learned. This little assignment was a fun and creative way for me to learn some valuable information while doing something that I loved.

Nurses are absolutely remarkable human beings and Coreen is, without a doubt, one of the best! She goes above and beyond her responsibilities to provide the absolute best care to her patients. She takes the extra time with the struggling patient, like me, and uses every opportunity to educate her patient in any way she can. Coreen was there to comfort, show kindness, be compassionate, give advice, and listen when I needed it. Coreen has a phenomenal ability to know what her patients need without being told. I never felt like I had to explain myself or justify my emotions with her. She has a genuine interest to understand me. I don’t often get attached to people, as I am slow to trust and quick to judge with these tall and indestructible walls for protection. All of that leaves me with very few people in my life whom I care deeply for, and I am okay with that. When I met Coreen I felt very vulnerable but guarded. She took time to chip away at my walls, getting me to open up slowly. After my 2-week hospitalization, I had seen her almost every day, and got comfortable around her. She made it easy to trust and be my authentic self. Coreen helped me understand vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength.

Everyone in the hospital should have a nurse like Coreen, and I feel very lucky to have had her in my life. Discharge is always an exciting thing, but it was bittersweet for me. Coreen and I had a long talk at discharge and I was able to tell her how much she meant to me. My heart broke a little, and I said a tearful goodbye to her. We build magnificent relationships with nurses and it is often difficult to say goodbye. Although my time with Coreen was short, she has made a lasting impression on me and what I learned from her will help me, and stay with me forever.