Delia Harrison
February 2017
Short Stay Unit
University of Virginia Health System
United States




To put it simply, Delia was the most extraordinarily warm, attentive, and hard-working individual I encountered during my hospital stay. I have had the interesting perspective of being both a physician at UVA (fellow in gastroenterology) and a patient when I developed acute appendicitis. While I encountered many friendly and caring individuals during my stay, Delia stood out amongst the rest. I had a very rough post-operative course and had a lot of uncontrolled pain. Delia was my evening nurse the day of my surgery, and from the very beginning, she worked with me to develop a plan for pain control, went above and beyond in being attentive to my needs, and made my family members feel as if they were truly integral to my healing process. I finally started feeling better when she came on for her shift, as she formulated a pain management plan, taught me the best way to do simple things (getting in and out of bed), and encouraged me every step of the way (e.g. watched attentively as I used my incentive spirometer and encouraged me in every aspect of my care). She made sure my mom had a place to sleep and attended to her comfort as well. She would make sure I was not sleeping before the patient care tech came into my room, so as not to disrupt my sleep at night for vitals. When she noticed I needed to use the bathroom at night, she ran in front of me and started cleaning the bathroom because it was shared among many patients. She paid attention to the things that no one else had bothered to ask about (asked me if I was a vegetarian, which in fact, I am!).
Delia is a very genuine and humble person, and did not assume because of my medical background that I knew everything; the little things she helped me with (e.g. moving about after surgery) and the kind gestures during my stay truly made me feel so much better, both mentally and physically.
Delia certainly had a positive and significant impact on my care. By devising a pain management plan for me, she helped me get on the path to recovery, and I was able to move around sooner and be discharged sooner than I would have otherwise been following surgery. She paid attention to patient-specific details that may seem insignificant but are important to individuals (e.g. asking me if I was a vegetarian). She encouraged my mom and helped her know that she was also an integral part of my care, and helped my mom get some rest after an exhausting 24 hours; she realized that family members play an essential role in caregiving and that it is important to recognize them as much as the patients themselves. Delia exercised scrupulous hand hygiene (which as someone in the medical field, I realize is so important to the prevention of hospital-acquired infections); she would sanitize her hands after using the computer to chart and before dispensing my medications, in addition to coming in and out of each patient room. She has many years of experience and continues to have an incredible amount of enthusiasm and kindness in caring for her patients, which truly made a positive impact on my care and healing.