I have Bipolar. I have always known something was wrong with me but I did not want to accept that I have a mental disorder. I was placed on a hold for several weeks and I did not make it easy for staff to take care of me. I was very loud, yelling and calling staff the most hurtful names for the first two weeks that I was there. I threatened anyone if I didn’t get what I want and when I wanted it. Era took care of me right from the beginning and obviously was not scared or even slightly intimidated. I must have called her the “B” word a hundred times but she didn’t care and continued to talk to me as if I was just another one of the mellower patients. She told me “I will be your nurse today and tomorrow and somehow, we will make it work out together so that you can get better and go back home”. Era would sit down and talk with me and help calm me down before I see my doctors- she tried to encourage me to go to the deck after I took my medications so that I would be a lot nicer when the doctor sees me. Every day she worked, she would plan how we could work together so that I could have a better day and start to trust other staff.
My Bipolar was at its worse when I was really too ill to see that staff were all just trying to help me. I even burned a plate in a microwave in the unit (accidentally!) one day because I always prefer my food hot. Era would still heat up my food in the other unit and didn’t even blame me once for breaking the microwave. She didn’t even tell my mom about the incident because she was worried that my mom would see this as a reason that she is not safe with me at home. I am also a big guy and none of the clothes or pajamas fit me so Era brought some stuff for me to wear until my mom brought more. I know I was really mean to everyone but when you have a disorder, sometimes you just don’t have any control- and like I said, I am a big guy- so I must have been really scary to everyone on the unit.
Having a staff like Era makes a big difference to someone like me because she did not discriminate and saw that I just needed help. I know the others probably wanted to help but I am just thankful that Era gave me a chance and waited for me to trust her. I hope that I will never return to UCLA again but if I do, I am praying to have Era again as my nurse. Please consider Era for the DAISY Award, she should win all the awards that UCLA has to offer to their employees because she is the Best of the Best!!!