...my brother and family were involved in an accident. Due to the severity of his injuries he was admitted to the University of New Mexico Hospital Trauma ICU Unit. I received a call from a staff member at the hospital named Vickie that evening giving me sketchy details of the accident and my brother's condition. The call, while greatly appreciated, caused more questions than answers. I was told to call back later to check on my brother as he was in critical condition and in surgery; and was given the number for the ICU Unit. After waiting several hours to be sure surgery was completed I called around 4:00 AM and spoke to Elaine Patten.
While I was very apprehensive I could not have been more reassured after speaking to her. In a calm, professional, knowledgeable, and reassuring manner she expanded briefly on the accident with what little she knew, and then concentrated on providing detailed information about both my brother and family. Injuries were described as well as ongoing treatment. While impossible to project timelines for recovery she offered general information about the types of injuries he had sustained. I know she could sense my deep concern through my many questions and comments. Just like a trusted relative she walked me through what had happened in the hospital and what to expect when I finally got there. Upon ending our conversation I felt almost completely reassured that he would survive but with a prolonged recovery ahead. While still worried I felt a genuine sense of relief from what Elaine had shared.
My wife and I left where we live that morning and drove to Albuquerque, arriving at the hospital approximately 9:45 PM. My daughter also drove down to be with us and met us at the hospital. We all went immediately to the ICU Unit. Elaine took the time in her most professional manner to explain and update us on his condition, what injuries had occurred, what procedures had been completed, how both he and his family were presently doing, and tentative projections for his stay in the ICU Unit and hospital. She allowed us to visit his room briefly but we did not stay since all were asleep. To a person, my wife, daughter, and I all felt like we were dealing with a truly caring health professional who understood what family members like us were experiencing and in her logical, informative, and reassuring approach made us feel welcome in the hospital, the ICU Unit, and gave us a true sense of relief for the first time in over twenty-four hours. It was obvious to me the respect ICU Staff had for Elaine, and I can fully understand why. I left thinking to myself how fortunate they were for having her in charge of their care that evening and while they were in ICU.
Elaine went above and beyond the expected to help me and my family deal with an extraordinarily difficult situation by putting us at ease both long distance and in person. It was not necessary to spend the considerable amount of time long distance with me answering my many questions she did early in the morning but she did with compassion and dignity. Meeting her in person only convinced me I was right in my thinking about her and how incredibly effective she is in her job performance. The University of New Mexico Hospital and Trauma ICU Unit are truly blessed to have the professionalism, wisdom, caring approach, knowledge, and positive attitude shown by Elaine Patten.