For 10 days, with one night in the step-down unit midway through, my mom was in the Neuro ICU at Lynchburg General Hospital. She experienced a stroke at home and then another one in the step-down unit five days later. During her stay in the ICU, she received notably outstanding care from a nurse named Derek.
Derek is a fantastic nurse and took excellent care of my mom. He explained to my mom and to our family what he was doing and why every time he came into the room. He proactively checked into things such as the timing of her medications, timing of her CT scan the next day, even if he was not the primary caregiver for her overnight and was instead backstopping another nurse. When he saw my mom in the step-down unit the one morning she was there, he came in to see us and ask how we were doing, encourage my mom's healing, and offer to help in any way.
When she had a second stroke later that day and ended up back in the ICU, we were fortunate enough that Derek was her nurse again and was particularly sensitive to the very challenging previous 24 hours we experienced. When I would call early in the morning to check on her sleep overnight, Derek would get right on the phone and rattle off details about how she was doing. And when he transitioned her care to the day nurse, he would bring that person into the room and walk her through how my mom was doing and introducing my mom to the new person. All these things made a big difference.
Derek was confident and kind, and he had a great sense of humor with my mom. Most importantly, he kept the Neuro ICU a human place. He really cared about my Mom as a person and he really listened to the things she talked about, and he remembered those things and asked her about them the next time he saw her.