I was being delivered from the ER after being evaluated for a stroke. I had been through the normal battery of examines, tests, and procedures and was being wheeled onto the Stroke Ward to be admitted for the night. It was late that Sunday evening and it had been a trying day. Kate greeted me with a welcoming smile and cheery "hello" that clearly and certainly brightened my day. Then, prior to me hardly saying anything, she called my name and asked if she had properly identified me and if my name was correctly pronounced. I was amazed that she knew me, which I might imagine could only have occurred if she was prescient. Of course, Kate had simply and professionally executed her responsibility by being alert and watchful of her computer messages, having been sent information about a new patient who was approaching and about to come under her care. I was immediately impressed and thankful for the expression of her interest in me. Moreover, she had carefully read the file she had received and began to tell me about myself, pausing periodically to ask if this was in fact correct! I was more than surprised. I was close to astonished as she exhibited a concern for me that was beyond what I had expected or previously experienced.
Kate's smile was not a façade as her cheerful and welcoming presence continued as she settled me in the room and then reviewed with me all that had been done and yet needed to be accomplished. By the time she was finished, I knew what to expect and was thoroughly comfortable with this nurse and her devotion to my welfare. She asked if there was anything I might need? It was after normal mealtime, but when I asked about food, she disappeared and soon returned with a tray that held a fine meal. Kate asked what I would like to drink, to which I mentioned that I was a water drinker and generally drank quite a bit of water. She returned with a huge container of water, which contained at least a gallon. Whether I was ever going to consume that quantity of water was beside the point, she more than fulfilled my needs. I am a pastor and had come directly from church. I was yet in my suit trousers. I asked Kate if there might be something more comfortable for me to wear while in bed. She quickly found scrub bottoms for me and I was now able to change and relax for the nighttime. Kate had more than fulfilled my expectations.
I could go on and on about how she attended and cared for me that evening/night because she seemed always available and certainly attentive to my needs. Kate was friendly and harmonious to all those who visited me, making their time with me enjoyable and encouraging. They also noticed her agreeable demeanor and commented that she was exceptionally friendly. I had the occasion to call the Stroke Ward a day or so later. Kate must have heard my name as I spoke to another nurse on the phone. She asked that person who was assisting me to say hello to me for her. Again, she inspired a sense of wellbeing, simply by extending that courteous and gracious act.
I would like to say that the professionalism and positive attitudes of all the doctors, nurses, attendants and employees certainly contributed to my exceptional stay at the Inova Hospital, Fairfax, but Kate was absolutely a very bright star in that constellation of luminaries. My profound gratitude to Kate and to the other professionals I encountered.