We had a patient who came to us from out of state. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer during her hospital stay. It just so happened that a biopsy was ordered at 1730 on a Friday afternoon. Trust me when I say, that very few people realize what a coordinated effort it takes to arrange such tests and make sure all the players are on board after hours/weekends and holidays. After multiple phone calls, Dale made sure this patient would be taken care of first thing in the morning.
This is very hard to put in writing, as it was more of an experience felt at the bedside. Every now and then we all have a moment that brings us back and reminds us why we became a nurse. I experienced that on this particular day, as the House Supervisor on duty, I found myself getting so wrapped up in the schedule of procedures, tasks and the million other questions running through my head, that I almost lost sight of the patient. It was at that moment when I stood back and saw this patient holding an Advance Directive Booklet and asking herself quietly, “How am I going to talk to my husband about this?” “What do I do now?”
I realized that Dale had already recognized the emotional state of our patient and took the time to really listen to her. Understanding that she had just received quite possibly the worst news of her life, he spoke softly and gently as he explained things to her. His whole demeanor was so compassionate. I truly felt the Nurse-Patient Connection. I stood back and felt tears come to my eyes. It was a beautiful moment, a time when labs, x-rays, tests, procedures, none of it mattered. The only thing that mattered was the patient sitting tearfully at the side of her bed needing that human connection and Dale being there to provide her the hand and the comfort that she needed.