My mother-in-law was admitted after an unexpected fall that ended up with having 2 emergent surgeries which landed her into the OHU unit. After several days there, the decision was made to make her comfort care and remover her from the vent. Jessie was her nurse along with another nurse since she was a new grad and was still in orientation. Let me tell you what she had to deal with. Our loved one had a husband and 6 children, 5 in-laws (one which was an ANM), 4 brothers and many grandchildren who at one time, were all in the waiting room. She never hesitated to walk into the waiting room to give frequent updates and would address the whole clan with composure. Jessie would answer any questions anyone had and most importantly she would address my father-in-law (our family member's husband) and ask specifically if he had any questions or needs. He is often cold and would be dressed in many layers. She picked up on this and then would start bringing him heated blankets and wrap him in it with each update. It not only helped keep him warm, it let him know that someone was also looking out for him and caring for him along with his wife of 61 years. (They celebrated their anniversary while here during this admission.) This went on for a few days before the final day arrived. Jessie had quite the relationship with our family member's husband. She would medicate our loved one and then tell him that she was comfortable and was not suffering, which helped him know that the decision to let her go was the right decision. Jessie saw that all her needs were met.
It was noticed that our loved one had a prayer blanket on with a rosary on it so Fr. Conrad was contacted for last Rights. Such little things make a huge difference. My family did not know that she was a new nurse, still in orientation. It appeared to them that she had done this many times before – but little did they know that this was her first death and it affected her as much as them.
After my mother-in-law passed away, we had a service for her and guess who showed up? Jessie said she needed to say goodbye and to have her closure. She brought her daughter with her to meet the family that had confirmed to her that she made the right decision to become a nurse. And of course, thinking of my father-in-law again, she brought him an electric blanket to have since she couldn't bring him one from the hospital. She has since exchanged phone calls, Christmas cards with the family to keep in touch and to check on my father-in-law. She is the most caring and compassionate person and we were so lucky to have her as our nurse those final days.