Nancy Atkinson

Nancy Atkinson, RN

Outpatient Surgery Center
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Edgewood, Kentucky
United States
Her approach was to tell him that his shoes must have been his favorites and that they must have served him well. Then she mentioned that her son had a pair of shoes in his size that could be brought to the surgical center in a matter of minutes.

A 19 year old male was brought to the surgical center by his aunt and uncle for removal of hardware that was visible from an open wound in his clavicle. How it was not infected was beyond us, his clothes were stiff from filth and he appeared to not have bathed in a long while. His aunt and uncle paid no attention to him, in fact they wanted to drop him off and pick him up later.

As he was being assisted in dressing himself at discharge Nancy noticed that his Converse Allstar low tops were threadbare with a half dollar size hole in the sole that matched the one in his sock. Knowing at her home were a pair of gym shoes in his size that her son had outgrown, Nancy offered our patient a pair of shoes. What moved Nancy's coworkers was the beautiful way she approached the subject. She addressed this young man who appeared to us as someone who is easily overlooked or disregarded, with respect, kindness, and compassion. Her approach was to tell him that his shoes must have been his favorites and that they must have served him well. Then she mentioned that her son had a pair of shoes in his size that could be brought to the surgical center in a matter of minutes. He was beyond thrilled as he heard Nancy's offer.  As he accepted, he commented that with a new pair of shoes he could get to where he needed to go and his feet would not hurt when he walked.

Our patient was discharged from the surgical center that day with new shoes on his feet and a big smile on his face. Nancy's Passion in Action was not only a service to her patient but was a witness to her co-workers as to how a little thoughtfulness and compassion can make a huge difference in someone’s life.