My husband, R, was admitted to the Blocker Burn Unit at UTMB with severe burns to 94% of his body. I remember being devastated, scared and crying in the lobby till I was brought back to his room. When I was finally able to see R, I cried so much I don't remember much but I remember Jim moving around me very carefully. I watched Jim press buttons while connecting IV lines and I remember thinking, "How is he not panicking with all these machines going off". He always maintained himself sure of what he was doing, showing critical thinking and teamwork, making me feel it would all be.
As time went by and R started to improve I was able to get to know all the nurses, doctors and staff. We have never felt this cared for like we are at UTMB Blocker Burn Unit. Everyone here has treated us amazingly, they take pride in what they do and it shows. I wish I had more vocabulary to express how excellent the staff is.
Jim goes above and beyond when it comes to his patients and I'm not just saying that because he's been R’s nurse every week since the accident. There are days he has students with him and he is very professional and able to attend to R while teaching and instructing his student, even I have learned just by listening to him. He comes in every morning and greets R with an enthusiastic smile, and reminds us that it is indeed another new day. It's hard not to lose track of time and days when you have been here this long. He makes R feel safe and relaxed by explaining everything he is administering even when it's the 50th time he's done it, he always lets R know what he's doing to him. I think this has made this whole experience a bit easier for R to know what's being done to him gives him peace of mind and calms him down. He's learned what R likes and dislikes and uses that on a daily basis to make sure R is well taken care of. He's learned that R prefers to have something for pain after physical therapy so he works with the PT staff and communicates his plan to them for that day to try and make the therapies less painful for R. He always asks R what he can do to make him feel more comfortable, trust me when you have 94% of your body burned it is nearly impossible to ever feel comfortable but Jim makes sure R has a pillow at his hip and a sheet rather than a blanket (blankets make R too hot).
I have never been to a hospital where a nurse has asked me if I need anything to drink or a blanket but here, I am always reminded that they all do really care about their patients and families. I am convinced nurses here do their jobs the only way they know-how, with love. I learned that nurse Jim lives in Florida but loves working at the Burn Unit so much he flies in for work every week. If that isn't love for your profession, then I don't know what is! He is attentive and truly listens to his patients showing compassion as he tries to make them as comfortable as he can. When he found out R's favorite show was premiering soon he set up his iPad, HBO account and speaker close to R’s bed so that he was able to watch it. He even brought snacks and decorations making a Game of Thrones movie night event! His understanding and compassion for R situation go beyond any other, his act of kindness brought R and I some normalcy and memories of our life before the accident. It brought memories of us sitting in our living room every Sunday taking turns putting a load in the washer during commercials.
I feel nurse Jim needs to be recognized for his knowledge, compassion, and love for what he does. R and I miss him a lot when he's off but we know he has a life apart from here. And even when he is here he gets busy and often has to set an alarm that reminds him to take a lunch, but while he's here we are so grateful for him.