My first interaction with Jana was when I was first diagnosed with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension a disease that is considered terminal. Hearing I have a terminal disease, my husband and I were extremely scared which was coupled with significant uncertainty and high emotion. Enter Jana. Jana was the first nurse I had when I entered the ICU at the Kaiser, San Diego Medical Center. Jana was supportive beyond belief. She was professional with just the right amount of compassion, joy, and personal feelings. Just what I needed. Jana's care and compassion are delivered with a sincerity I have never felt from another member of hospital staff anywhere. I could tell she was truly dedicated to her patients.
PAH is a very rare disease and much to my dismay it seemed much of the staff in the ICU, including Jana, were not familiar with and under-educated about the disease, including the medications meant as "therapy" to prolong my life. I say this not to speak poorly about the staff nor Jana, but to highlight what Jana did next which, in my view, was above and beyond the call of duty!! Jana took it upon herself to provide me and my husband with the encouragement to face my situation bravely. She did research on PAH and provided me with much documentation to help me fully understand what I was up against. She interpreted the documentation when necessary. If she didn't know the answers to my questions she would get the answers. She made me feel like family during my 18 day stay in the ICU as I was put on the medication I needed. When I left the ICU, I left with the confidence I need to live and live well with this disease.
Since my initial diagnosis, I have been hospitalized 3 additional times including this most recent stay. Although all of my other caregivers during each of my stays have been good, none of them measured up to the standard set by Jana. During this most recent stay, Jana was my nurse when I reached the ICU floor. I was so relieved to see her. I knew at that moment my stay would be a comfortable one, both physically and emotionally. Jana remembered me and my situation. She tirelessly attends to me, again like a member of her family. I am always confident she is doing what is best for me as her patient. She involves me in my care and makes sure the other nurses know and understand the complexities of my situation to ensure I receive the very best care even when she is not here. Jana is one of the main reasons we decided not to change our insurance provider during open enrollment.
Being in the hospital is never a comfortable situation. I like to think I am special in Jana's eyes and that is why she has treated me so well during my stays in the ICU. That being said, I would be a fool and it would be selfish of me to think Jana treats me differently than her other patients. I know in my heart she treats her other patients just as well and with the same dedication. Jana is a special person. Kaiser is very fortunate to have Jana, as are her patients. Jana is an exceptional caregiver and patient advocate.