My office is right outside the back of the psych unit where all new patients enter the unit. The patients are in blue scrubs and have to walk through the public hallways accompanied by an RN and a security guard. Mallorie is always engaging the patient in a conversation. She treats them as an individual. Most other staff are not talking to the patient, some are having a conversation with the security guard. As I write this, an ED RN is in front, then the patient, security and a student--no one is talking. Thanks, Mallorie for engaging the patient as an individual and not as a psych patient. I'm sure they appreciate it!
I recently received a phone call from my 19-year-old son asking for help. My son had recently been through a bad break-up with his girlfriend. My son stated that he had attempted suicide earlier in the week and stopped at the time, but if he did not get help immediately, he would attempt again because he needed "the pain to go away." After checking in at the hospital and being shown to a room, my son was visited by several hospital personnel including the psychiatric nurse on duty, Mallorie Blum. As with every person who came into my son's room, she introduced herself, had him verify his information and asked him a long list of questions pertaining to his current and previous medical history, symptoms, feelings, etc.
Where Mallorie set herself apart from any medical professional I have ever come into contact with was after she completed her necessary tasks and got all of the information regarding his being at the hospital she asked if she could tell my son a story. When he agreed she begged his forgiveness for speaking frankly prior to beginning her story and that this story is not just for him, but for his mom. The story Mallorie told my son and me was the story of why she became a psychiatric nurse and how she knew that would be her career at the age of 14. Mallorie told us how suicide had affected her personally and her family. When Mallorie heard that my son had attempted suicide at our home, she asked if he had any siblings. He responded explaining he has an 8-year-old brother. Mallorie challenged my son to think about how suicide would affect each member of my son's family, including his parents, brother, grandparents, etc. Mallorie gave my son some statistics regarding the number of suicides by teenagers due to feeling there are no other options. Mallorie challenged my son to think about how he would feel losing someone close to him to suicide.
When Mallorie was finished, she apologized for her soapbox and told my son that he was young, handsome, and had a bright future. She explained what inpatient treatment would entail and asked if he would admit himself to get help and tools to deal with the pain. He agreed.
My son spent 3 days in the psychiatric unit. he disliked most of the experience (calling it busy work). My son credits Mallorie to saving his life. He states that Mallorie made him think and understand how his actions would affect those who love him. My son states he would never do that because he would never hurt his family like that. My son has apologized to me for thinking suicide was an out.
Mallorie Blum saved my son's life with her openness to share her story, her frankness for telling him like it is, for painting the true picture for him about what suicide does to others, and for taking the extra time with my son and me during our time of need in her busy schedule. I can't thank her enough she is a gem.
I have shared my personal experience and Mallorie's openness to talk with my son with other friends and family. I believe that Mallorie's ability to share her story enabled my family to speak openly about my son's condition at the time. I have encouraged people to spread the word about the wonderful care my son received while he was at Jennie. I truly believe Mallorie is an angel disguised in a nurse's uniform. My hope is that when others are in need of help, they will get the opportunity to meet her.