I was a patient of Nicki's after having surgery in the surgical daycare unit. I too am a nurse at MGH and consider myself tough with a high pain tolerance and rarely panic when it is my turn to be the patient. To my surprise when I woke up from anesthesia, I was extremely uncomfortable and started to worry. The pain I was in was very different from what I was told to expect which made me even more nervous. Enter Nicki Sweet.
Despite my pain and worry Nicki instantly calmed me. In a way only a skilled caring nurse could, she listened to my description of the pain. Because of her experience and patience, she quickly realized that I was potentially having complications from the surgery. She immediately requested for the nurse practitioner to come in to evaluate and then the surgical team from the operating room.
As I was being examined Nicki kept me comfortable as I was still in awful pain from what turned out to be a developing hematoma. You could imagine my panic setting in as they discussed possibly sending me back into the operating room. Even though I was terrified on the inside Nicki continued to keep me as relaxed as possible. Never leaving my side, she remained calm walking me through breathing exercises. She made sure I received pain medicine to keep me comfortable as the surgeon performed a very painful bedside procedure to keep me from returning to surgery.
Nicki never left my side. She had a calming spirit about her, knowing precisely the right things to say. Her tranquility naturally transferred to me. This could have been one of the worst experiences of my life. Instead, Nicki made me feel safe and secure in her capable hands.
As Nicki stayed with me that day, her kind heart and comforting spirit made her seem more like a friend than someone doing her job. I have worked as a nurse at MGH for almost 30 years. I have never been so inspired by another nurse as I was by Nicki. When I heard about the DAISY Award, I did not hesitate to nominate Nicki; in fact, I needed to.