Surgical Intensive Care Unit
University of Maryland Medical Center
My 85-year-old father had never been hospitalized let alone had surgeries. Yet he found himself in the hospital for 14 days and he was facing open-heart surgery. He and my mother were very nervous and afraid. As an RN myself, I was able to calm most of their fears. I do not have a lot of cardiac experience but I understood all that went on. But when I saw my dad right after surgery helpless and on a vent, my heart dropped. The ICU nurses/team were great. They were very skilled, calculated drips appropriately did detailed assessments, and made sure my dad remained safe. I knew he was in good hands. I watched the monitors and IV lines and could tell he was very stable. I explained all of the tubes and equipment to my family and once again put them at ease. Emily came in and brought me a "Get to Know Me Board" but we already had one filled out. She said, "oh, can I see it?" She read my dad's board and said, "wow he likes Jazz, me too!" "What kind of jazz?" I said all kinds of Jazz. She left the room only to return with her personal cell phone and charger. She put on a jazz station on the phone. Then she placed the phone beside his ear. He immediately started to tap his toes. When I saw my dad's toes, I was at ease. Even as an RN and understanding everything that was going on, I was uneasy seeing my dad in that condition. That simple gesture by Emily eased my fears. It was such a caring moment. It made a lasting impression and I will tell anyone I come across how much that meant to me.