The 2nd full night my mother was in ICU, Don came in at the beginning of his shift and stated that he didn't like the vitals on the screen. Indeed, mom was in pain and her heart was racing. Don jumped into action having to call the doctor 3 times before getting a response to get cardio order and a small pain reliever. He was Johnny on the Spot the rest of his shift. A little over a week later, mom ended up in ICU again, only this time her condition was "to go south" fighting going septic, fighting pneumonia. A careful balance needed between BP/HR/O2 levels. Don and his co-worker Noah teamed up throughout the night as many times mom's care required more than 4 hands.
Each time he entered the room, he explained to us what he was doing and why. (This was tremendously important to all the family.) He explained what was happening with mom. Don turned mom every 2 hours after she was intubated and did oral hygiene to moisten her mouth. There was one evening when he and JD were handling all the patients in ICU as someone called in sick and he still found time to change mom's sheets.
As mom's condition worsened, Don was the only staff member to include the doctors that asked us and prepared us to think about DNR. He explained all the options so we wouldn't have to make a last minute decision in an emotional state where heads aren't always clear. At the end, this proved to be such a huge burden off our shoulders that we had the information we needed to make the right decision for my mother.
I was impressed that Don was the only nurse who pushed his computer from room to room to make notes as he went and didn't need to go to the main desk and sit down to enter his information. Additionally, Don always asked us to step out of the room to discuss mom's condition, even when she was unresponsive - what professionalism - not knowing exactly what she could hear or understand. No need to talk in front of her - thinking of the patient's well being and dignity first.
Overall, Don was informative, patient, and calm. Don set a high standard on a consistent basis and raises the bar leading by example for others to follow. My family and I feel he deserves a bundle of daisies. He was a saint for us throughout mom's struggle. Though so many members of the staff were great and helpful, informative, etc... Don was a head above, especially complssionate yet unbelievably competent.