Linda Connors

Linda Connors, BSN, RN

Newton Medical Center
Newton, New Jersey
United States

... Linda was caring for a patient who we transferred to hospice care with a planned extubation to accompany this decision. This type of situation in the ICU setting requires patience, compassion, empathy and excellent communication skills. In most cases, there is a large family presence and multidimensional dynamics occurring. Under normal circumstances, Linda is one of our nurses that does an excellent job in this situation, but on this day, circumstances were far from normal. Linda's own mother had fallen a few days before and had been hospitalized in New York. During her admission, Linda's mother suffered a heart attack and decompensated quickly requiring intubation and ICU care. Linda was able to see her prior to these occurrences, but not afterward. She was in constant telephone contact with her sister who was at her Mon's bedside, but she chose to honor her work commitment and planned to see her mother the next day to discuss her mother's prognosis with her family. It is unimaginable to most of us at that Linda would choose to deal with the work situation and personal situation at the same time. Linda extubated her patient who proceeded to pass away rather quickly. At almost the same time, Linda's phone rang. It was her sister informing her that he mother had just passed. It was a heart wrenching experience for us all. We offered to let her go home, but she wanted to stay and that gave her comfort to know that she was doing for a family what a nurse in New York was doing for hers. Not many people would have been able to handle this. In fact, many would have asked to change assignments. Linda displayed tremendous compassion with the family she was with and even more courage in dealing with her own personal tragedy with dignity and grace. She absolutely went above and beyond in her commitment to her job. This exemplifies that nursing is all about the patient, family and their care. Not many of us could have handled this situation. Linda certainly deserves recognition for the extraordinary care she delivered that day.