Elizabeth Baker

Elizabeth Baker, RN, BSN

Cardiac
Palmetto Health Richland
Columbia, South Carolina
United States

Big things come in small packages. That is exactly what you get when Elizabeth Baker walks in your room. Elizabeth….so much you can say about this VERY special person. Elizabeth came to work at Palmetto Health on July 25, 2008. I could call her my birthday present in 2008. She interviewed as a very nervous and timid new graduate trying to decide what career path she wanted to take in her first job. I was fortunate that she chose to pursue cardiac nursing. Elizabeth has flourished her at Palmetto Health. She has, over the past year, taken on more responsibility on the unit. She approached me one day and said, “I am ready to start precepting new staff and I am ready to be in charge.” I knew she could do it but wanted her to find the confidence in herself to know she could. And, could she ever….when rounding with patient’s, families, and physicians and asking who would like to recognize, Elizabeth’s name is a constant. Dr. I approached one day and said that I have something special in Elizabeth. He said his patients come back to the office talking about her and what great care she provided them. Dr. I reiterated that she is very helpful to the Dr’s and rounds with them to update them on their patients’ and is an advocate for her patients.
Elizabeth had cared for a very special patient who I will call Mr. M. He was dying of Congestive Heart Failure and was frequently in out of the hospital. Mr. M always requested to come to our unit. Elizabeth and Mr. M formed a very special bond during his time in our unit. He did not have much family and not many visitors. Elizabeth became his extended family. He truly loved her and called her his “girl.” Elizabeth would sit and talk with Mr. M, bring him movies and his favorite meals. During the Kentucky derby he wanted a mint julep and we all pitched in, with permission  and made his favorite drink. On her days off she would come visit with him or call just to see how he was doing. Mr. M finally lost his battle with CHF and we all felt a sense of loss, but it was Elizabeth who attended his funeral and was there with him on his final days. We all have “a story” in our nursing career that we can always remember. Mr. M is Elizabeth’s story as she helped to write it for our story book in the Heart Hospital. I have no doubt that he continues to look after her and we all tell stories about him often. Elizabeth is a special person and I am sure she will have many more stories, but he will always be her first story to remember! She is AWESOME!