Michael Riviera
January 2020
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Ann Arbor
United States




For 2 days my husband was cared for by Michael, who demonstrated exceptional skill while caring for him in the ICU for Hyponatremia and seizures, with prolonged response to treatment. During those 2 days, Michael expressed a superb commitment to his patient during the recovery period. He possessed extraordinary patience, particularly as the agitation set in when the sedation was wearing off. Michael remained calm and respectful as he dealt with many physical and emotional challenges presented to him. This was important as it set an example to his patient, demonstrating exactly what was expected of him (to remain calm and respectful).
Oftentimes, Michael and the team of doctors would meet to discuss and assess the situation, and it was clear to me that Michael possessed great clinical skills. His knowledge of this particular situation, coupled with his effective communication skills, assisted in the decision-making process of the prescribed care with the team of doctors. He then took great care in implementing that decision, always focused on the little details to help heal his patient, and to make him as comfortable as possible during his ICU stay. The amount of knowledge, energy, and care towards my husband made me realize that Michael was a truly exceptional nurse!
During this time, it's important to note that not only did he have a caring heart toward my husband, but he also took care of me, as I was by his side through it all. This medical journey took me on a ride of emotions, and Michael always showed sincerity, respect, and offering extra support through it all. He took the time to explain the results of tests and any medical terms that I was not familiar with. Michael would often ask if there was anything I needed and always seemed to recognize when I could use extra support, even before I realized it.
An example of this was when he recognized that I was struggling to be present in the ICU room due to the personality changes my husband was demonstrating as he was coming out of sedation. Michael assured me that this piece in the recovery process was normal and that he was used to seeing it, but it was completely fine if I needed to step out of the room. Come to find out, stepping out of the room is exactly what I needed! I also discussed with him the need for me to focus on the positive during the recovery period in order for me to remain calm. He stated that he would not lie or stretch the truth in any way, but he always presented the facts as they were, and would end the discussion on a positive note. For example, he told me that my husband's vitals had always been good, or just reassuring me what we were seeing was normal in the recovery process.
There was a happy ending as my husband is healed and is now back to normal activities. I attribute that accomplishment to the exceptional care of the medical team at UM, but especially to Michael! He is a true healer whose care and support has helped us more than he can ever imagine. Thank you, Michael, from the bottom of our hearts!