My father was recently a patient in the CSU of Moore Regional Hospital. Of the several nurses who cared for him during his five-day stay, two of them were remarkably gifted and caring individuals. One of them was Melissa Hernandez.
As his assigned day nurse on his first few days, Melissa diligently monitored his vitals, checked the multiple devices and associated tubes connected to him, and frequently ensured he was comfortable. These are the expected duties and were well performed. What distinguishes her from most of his other nurses caring for him was her genuine concern for him. He was ill and very confused about where he was (he has dementia). Recognizing this, she talked to him, not at him. She asked how he felt, told him often how good a patient he was (which was not entirely true), and how much she hoped he was feeling better. She made him feel cared for beyond just the medical interventions.
In short, Melissa was engaged in him as a person and not just as a patient. The most telling example of her dedication and caring spirit occurred in the final hour of his last day there. He had been dressed and placed in a recliner. Sitting in a recliner or any chair was and still is difficult for him as he is unable to hold himself upright. He had slid down to the point that most of him was no longer in the chair. It was pure luck that Melissa, who was assigned to other patients that day, rounded a corner, heard the alarm, saw me, and immediately acted. She gently pulled him back into the chair; changed the clothes and pads he had soiled since his assigned nurse and aide had dressed him; and untangled the mass of cords that were underneath him. When he was comfortably settled, she thanked him for helping her and told him she was glad he was well enough to go home. I know it is her job as a nurse to help patients who need help. But she does more than help. She genuinely cares.