Sometimes when I think about Gina, I just smile, for she is just what a nurse should be. She began here as a resident when I was first in my role. I watched her quickly grow from Novice to Expert in her field of Telemetry. She knows her patients, their plan of care, where they have been, their discharge plan and does everything she can to help them be ready for discharge. I see her walking the halls with her patients, sitting down talking to them about self-care management, medication. She does not ask “do you understand, but asks, tell me what you are going to do when you get home”. When I see her enter a room, she always introduces herself, explains her role, and checks to see what she can do for them.
When I visit with her patients they say things like, “I’ve got Gina, so I am taken care of like I am family”. One patient said to me, “if my own daughter were a nurse, they could not have taken care of me with more respect and dignity than Gina”.
When I round on patients looking at Fall precautions, HAPI bundle elements, her patients are just right, and not just the standard elements, but customized and accommodating the patient’s preferences and unique needs.
We have a patient who often is handed off from one nurse to another, comes in and out of the hospital with regularity. He is “difficult” and sometimes feels like a burden to the staff. He said, “no one treats me more like a human being than Gina. She is always happy to see me and puts up with me. I almost want to cry when she comes in because she makes me so happy and makes me sad when she leaves because I will miss her. She should never be allowed a day off.”
An NAC came to me and said, “working with Gina is perfect, you work hard with her, but she works side by side with me. She is always polite, respectful and communicates what her patient’s needs are, and she has some horrid assignments. But she never complains and she always says thank you.”
Last week I witnessed Gina’s teamwork in action. Even though she had a busy assignment, her teammate had a very unstable patient. Gina was checking in with her, covering her other patients, stepping in with a “What can I do to help?” The other nurse did not have to ask, she was just there at her side. That nurse said, “I got through it because Gina had my back.
Gina leads through example of professionalism through her courtesy to her team, exemplary communication skills and caring presence at the bedside.