Recently, I had my shift from 12 am to 8 am. Before I ended my shift, I was surprised to receive a letter of thanks from the daughter of one of my patients. I was not expecting to receive one because I knew I was just doing my work as I always do. Though, the letter really melts my heart and inspired me more to be diligent in my work. To understand this delightful moment, the story goes like this:
An 82-year old, female patient was admitted to our hospital due to depleting red blood cell and platelet counts. They refused to be referred to a tertiary hospital in the city because of their fear of exposure to COVID-19 cases. We catered to the patient's needs and encouraged the relatives to procure blood especially the platelet concentrates as soon as possible so we could transfuse it immediately to avoid spontaneous bleeding.
During our ward endorsement, the pm-shift nurses told me that they received 6 bags of platelet concentrate at 10:30 in the evening. I was the only nurse in the medical-surgical ward on that shift, handling 19 patients and I tried my best to transfuse the 6 bags of platelet concentrate. With the help of my nursing aide, I was able to monitor the response and progress of the patient on the blood transfusion. I started transfusing the platelet concentrate at 1 am and consumed the 6th bag at around 4 in the morning. I can't imagine how I looked on that shift. I really doubled my time to the best of my ability. I did the blood transfusion and at the same time, attended the needs of my other patients. I was really relieved and very thankful to God when I satisfactorily and safely transfused all the 6 bags without any adverse reaction manifested. After the transfusion, my monitoring for the patient continued. I made sure that she was free from any post-transfusion reaction. I was with her at her bedside most of the time on that shift. I didn't take any nap and hardly took any food just to make sure she was safe and comfortable.
Albeit I felt like I was bombarded with tons of work and was working against the clock, fortunately, everything went well. At the last hour of my shift, I gave the endorsement to the receiving nurses of the am-shift while my nursing aide did the patient satisfaction survey as what nursing aides used to do every after shift. I was astounded when my aide suddenly interrupted our endorsement and handed me a letter of gratitude from my patient. I was really not expecting anything because for me, the simple act of saying thank you is enough for us nurses to feel that we are valued and appreciated.
Upon reading the survey that contained a short thank you message, my heart was filled with joy, and all the stress and burnout that I was carrying on that shift was suddenly replaced with pride. I felt the same way too. I also wanted to give thanks to the relatives of my patient for making me aware and feel that they truly appreciated my service.
A simple thing like this drives us nurses to continue our calling, which is to render selfless and heartfelt services to humanity.
The thank-you note from the relative has this message translated in English: "From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank nurse Buaya for her genuine compassion in taking care of our mother though she was already tired and had no rest. Thank you, ma’am and God Bless Us All".