I was a patient at TGH's Cardiac Care unit recently. During my time there I was under the nursing care of Erin Anderson. I want to tell you about her extraordinary care but first just a little background about me.
I am a life-long paraplegic due to a spinal cord injury at T-4 which occurred during the birth process. The attending physician during my delivery was later proven to have been drunk during the delivery, and an attending physician replaced him after forceful delivery damaged my spinal cord. The injury and resulting medical issues have resulted in easily over 100 hospitalizations and dozens of procedures over my 53 years of life. I tell you this to make clear - I am not your average case, and I am not a novice to hospital care. I have been a patient at many of the top hospitals in the country and have met many wonderful nurses over these years Erin and the care she provided at TGH, is among the best of the best.
I love the values represented in this award - here are examples of how Erin demonstrated each one:
Caring - This hospitalization started at Memorial Hospital on the Friday before. After an ultrasound at my cardiologist's office revealed blockage in both Iliac veins, I was admitted to Memorial and underwent a procedure that evening. After the procedure, my physician advised that we would need to seek specialist help at TGH. I was transferred around 5:30 am on Tuesday morning. When I arrived, Erin was just coming on shift. I knew she had a lot of administrative responsibilities admitting a new patient, but before all the paperwork, etc., she first smiled and asked me how I was feeling. She took the time to make sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed before leaving the room to start the admission process. Throughout my stay, her first concern was my wellbeing. I know she had a full patient load, but I was made to feel like I was her only patient.
Integrity - Erin timely and accurately shared information with me about my care and the progress we were making getting consults etc. organized. The information she gave me was accurate and complete. This gave me great peace of mind in terms of understanding what was happening and why.
Advocacy - When I first arrived, we were having difficulty getting the films that the specialists needed. Erin worked with the physician and both hospitals to clear the red tape and even got a courier to pick up the films. She then followed through to make sure the images got loaded into the hospital systems. This was critical in helping the specialist formulate a course of treatment. Her tenacity in this area easily shortened my needed stay by a day or more.
Respect - Erin regularly treated me with respect and dignity, taking special care to ensure my privacy. She also showed great respect to my family (16-year-old son and wife) when they came to visit, making them feel welcomed and making sure all their needs and questions were addressed.
Accountability - Erin consistently delivered on her promises. This included returning with needed pain medications timely and when promised. I knew when she said she would do something I didn't need to worry about it. I was also impressed with Erin's nightly report to the night shift. She was thorough and complete and gave me a sense that she took responsibility for making sure my excellent care carried forward even when she was not physically there.
Competency - I was very impressed with Erin's knowledge not only of the care and diagnosis related to my circulatory issues but also her understanding of my other care needs including my Florida Pouch, etc. She had a great deal of knowledge and was always eager to learn more from me - asking questions to learn more about my conditions, care, and experiences.
Bottom line, in my opinion, and experience, Erin is a tremendous example of both competence and compassion. Her effort during my care was extraordinary and made what was otherwise a scary and challenging situation a pleasant and comfortable experience. I hope I don't have to return anytime soon, but If I did need care, the bar for my next nurse will be quite high indeed.