Nancy Farish
September 2017
University of Virginia Health System
United States




When a patient hears the sentence, "This is concerning and we need to rule out cancer" everything stops and an overwhelming sense of anxiety and dread occurs. When the day arrives to have the biopsy/procedure that will determine if you have cancer it is one of the most stressful and scary experiences. I know that my mom was not only a little nervous but slightly terrified of what the results and news would determine. The moment she woke up from the procedure she was greeted by an amazing nurse, Nancy Farish, in the urology recovery area. When I arrived, Nancy was able to explain what had happened and summarized the discussion the physician had with my mom in my absence. In the many interactions, I have had with family in the hospital I was blown away by Nancy. It was refreshing to see a nurse interacting with a patient and you can tell she not only cares about them as a person but she genuinely enjoys nursing. Nancy not only explained Epic Phase 2 and why things were taking a little longer than usual, but she also engaged my mom in a conversation focusing on their mutual hobby of running. Nancy used humor and engagement to alleviate the tension and stress of what Mom had just been through.
I would imagine that many patients do not necessarily remember their interactions with the nurses in PACU/recovery. What I realized in that moment from witnessing the interaction between Nancy and my mom was the significant and influential impact they have with patients immediately when they wake up, trying to reorient themselves, and process the information from the doctors. Nancy thoroughly explained the discharge instructions as well as side effects my mom may experience post-procedure. Again, this may sound insignificant but it was the interaction and the way Nancy completed the task. She did not rush the process or quickly review the information but ensured that we did not have any questions and fully understood what had taken place. It was the greatest feeling to know that a nurse like Nancy was taking care of my mom and I know it brought her a sense of relief as well. Although our interaction with Nancy was roughly an hour it shows the significant influence she had on Mom's overall experience and my appreciation for all that she did. As a nurse myself I view Nancy as the perfect example of how I hope I am perceived by patients at UVA, and that while we had a short time with Nancy I truly hope she knows how great of an impact she had in one of the most stressful times my mom and I have encountered.
It is obvious through the way Nancy explains information and her air of confidence that she has experience and is extremely knowledgeable. In witnessing nursing and patient interactions every day I was impressed by Nancy the entire time I viewed her interacting with my mom. Many times, nurses are recognized for a single event or interaction with staff/patients/ or their family members. What I truly respect about Nancy is that you can tell just by observing her work that this behavior is consistent and she is the perfect example of what nursing is truly about. Nancy represents the highest level of professionalism, providing superlative quality patient care, surpassing ordinary standards that should stand as an example to all nurses within the organization.