On our unit we have had several patients that because of social and/or insurance issues have remained in the hospital “long-term", up to 11 months in one case. In the last few months that these individuals were admitted, other nurses continued to provide great care, but Ines was different. When I went to work with these patients it was obvious that she was the nurse for the day by their cleanliness and their behavior. Both patients were aphasic after having a stroke so although they could not express themselves with words they were always happier, calmer, and more willing to participate in care on the days Ines was their nurse.
The younger of the two patients had been on several different units and had several episodes of combativeness and inappropriate behavior requiring the use of restraints and a sitter at times. I worked with this patient for months following him to different units and was often frustrated because I noticed his behavior issues had worsened. Since he was unable to communicate verbally to express his needs he used non-verbal signs that were frequently missed which caused him to become increasingly agitated. Once Ines became involved in his care, this patient flourished, and not only did his behavior improve but he starting learning how to express his needs with drawing and art. She also treated him like a human and like an adult while at the same time being strict and teaching him the appropriate way to act.
Ines provided this patient with an opportunity to become independent with some of his basic needs which not only improved his behavior but his affect and his motivation. By the time he was finally discharged he was able to draw pictures to communicate, could ambulate to/from the bathroom, no longer required a sitter or restraints, and had not had a fall under her supervision. This case example was not a one-time event. This exemplary care is the care Ines provides to all of her patients. Ines is not just a nurse to her patients, she is a friend, a mother, a sister, or a daughter.