I was called and told I needed a "follow up" appointment. I was unable to speak with the CBOC because the call center was handling the requirement. The appointment was made, I arrived and checked in early. I was told that the doctor would not be in but was offered a chance to see a nurse. Given that I had driven 75 miles (one way), I asked to see the nurse. The nurse, RN Mary Anderson, was facing a disgruntled Veteran who was getting more disturbed with passing time.
What happened in the next hour changed my attitude and appreciation. RN Mary Anderson asked me if I would like her to see me, I agreed. She escorted me to the doctor's office since it would not be used that day. She asked if I had problems I wished to address. After a brief complaint about the VA and making a wild goose chase, she asked if I had any medical issues. I had made the drive since my toenail was causing severe pain when I walked. She asked to see it. When I took off my socks and shoes, she asked if I had a black dog when she brushed off my toe. Given she was holding dog hair that most would have not even noticed, it was easy to see she was interested in me and my care. She cut my nails and started the healing process. She was careful, tactful, gentle, and effective. I have started taking my dogs for walks again as a result of her care! She then asked if I had other concerns since I mentioned a loss of weight this winter. She listened to me describe the stress that I had accumulated over the last year. She offered a safe environment to discuss my issues. Empathetic is the way I wanted to be treated and I was. Mary was supportive of me and my family, two-legged and four. When I cried she comforted me. She gently offered mental health assistance referral if I wished.
I was escorted to the reception area and started the process to request travel reimbursement. Many would have turned to other duties but she stayed to see that I could handle the system. It turns out that there needed to be some intervention and she stayed until it was handled. RN Mary Anderson went above and beyond for me, the Anaconda Clinic and the VA. She made a bad situation into a pleasant experience. She is a peach and deserves this DAISY Award.