Lindsey Traylor writes of her experience caring for B and her husband:
When B was transferred to our unit from the ICU, her husband was at her side; he seemed like he was simply a very attentive husband. For the most part, he stayed at her side but would occasionally take laps around the unit to get out of the room for a bit. I asked the husband if he would be interested in staying at Doorways so that he could shower, get a warm meal, and sleep in a warm bed. He told me that they had been married for 65 years and that his wife didn’t want him to leave. When the family came to visit, I tried to see if one of them could encourage him to stay at Doorways or go home with them briefly but he always declined. One day when I came in I noticed that he looked very tired and was moving more slowly than before. The family that visited were also concerned. I approached B explaining that her husband looked tired and perhaps needed respite for just a little while. She looked at me and said, “He IS NOT, I repeat he IS NOT, leaving this hospital until I do!”
The sister then pulled me aside to explain that B was her husband’s caregiver and that he had just finished months of chemotherapy. After making sure that the husband had his medications and was taking them, I decided to contact the Clinical Administrator. Together we convinced the couple that he needed to be “checked out”.
When he arrived at the ED, his blood pressure was low and his heart rate was high. I tried to make sure that he felt comfortable and then told him I had to go back to take care of his wife. I knew if he was admitted, he and his wife would want to be in the same room. When I returned to the unit, we worked together with Bed Management to make this possible. It wasn’t long before they were together, both receiving care on our unit. I know we can’t force someone to receive care but I think I did the right thing for both B and her husband.
I would like to express my profound appreciation and gratitude to Lindsey for going above and beyond her duty to help an elderly visitor receive the care he needed. Lindsey showed her compassion and kindness, as she always does, and served as a role model for Service Excellence.
Lindsey, you did a great job advocating for his needs; you showed that we are a patient and family centered organization!
In Nursing School, we are taught the importance of caring for the patient and family. Today, I witnessed Lindsey, a nurse from Main 11 West, do just that. The eighty-four-year-old spouse of a patient was brought to ED triage by Lindsey and the Clinical Administrator. The gentleman had been by his wife’s side for days. Lindsey became concerned with what she believed was a steady decline in the husband’s physical and mental condition. During the Triage process, she showed true concern and dedication, constantly reassuring him that we would take care of both he and his wife. I learned while caring for the husband that the team on Main 11 West had provided him food and drinks as well as a way to shower. I salute Lindsey and the 11 West team for their relationship based care – they truly “made caring visible”.