This year I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Because of that twist of fate, I had the opportunity to work with many nurses. One stood out among the rest, Kimberly.
Over the past six months, I had had four surgeries, multiple tests, chemotherapy and countless needle sticks! During that time, I have been treated by at least 30 different nurses. Some are knowledgeable, but cold – others are very personable but lack technical skill. Kimberly is a consummate nurse. She made a meaningful difference in my care by making me feel cared for and valued, as if I was her only patient.
Prior to my first surgery, she made an impression on me as she described the breast reconstructive process with expanders. Her candor and knowledge on the subject caught my attention as she spoke to me on a personal level. It was like “The Girl Friend’s Guide to Expanders”. Because she set realistic expectations, I was more accepting of how foreign and uncomfortable the expanders felt when I woke up from my surgery. I knew that temporarily this was “normal”.
During my bi-monthly visits, she never forgot that what was routine for her, was new to me. She would always ask me engaging questions about my life and remember details from previous conversations. This set me at ease while she did her work. I didn’t feel like a number, even though she had probably done the same procedure countless times that week.
Finally, I am grateful to Kimberly for teaching me early on how to manage pain with breathing techniques. I’ve noticed through my many blood draws, IV’s, chemo treatments, shots, etc. that not all nurses practice this. Now I immediately say, “Tell me when to breathe!”
Kimberly’s skill and personality make her a remarkable nurse, and this is why I would like to nominate her for the DAISY Award.