I have been an RN for 8 years in the ICU, but it wasn’t until I was a patient that I realized what true empathy, compassion, and caring were. I was a patient for two weeks after the birth of my second baby girl, and although all of the nurses on the Oncology unit were amazing and caring, Melissa was exceptional.
I never realized how truly vulnerable patients feel when they are admitted to the hospital. Especially at night time. After about four days of being in the hospital, the loss of control and panic/anxiety started to set in. I put my call light on to tell Melissa that I felt like I was having a "panic attack." Melissa not only responded to my concerns with knowledge, experience, and skill; she provided me with comfort, compassion, empathy, understanding, and love. She stood outside my door (despite having five other patients) until she knew I was okay. She was able to get a doctor to come into my room at 5 in the morning to speak with me and reassure me that "I'm not crazy," and "I'm not going to die."
I thought I knew what nursing was about, and I've always prided myself on my nursing skills, but Melissa taught me what an exceptional nurse is. She taught me empathy. She taught me how to listen to my patients and sincerely hear what their concerns are. I am eternally grateful to this unparalleled nurse.