I was working the 24-hour on-call shift on Memorial Day. I was called to a death on MICU for a patient. Upon arrival, I noticed there were at least 20 family members present. One of the family members was the patient’s elderly mother who recently had a stroke and has dementia. The patient’s sister asked to speak with me outside the room. The sister said the patient’s mother did not understand that her son was no longer living. The patient’s sister did not know how to tell her mother the news and was scared it may cause the mother to go into great distress. The sister said the mother primarily speaks Spanish.
M was the house supervisor on duty. M and I talked about our options for informing the patient’s elderly mother. Noemi Reyes, the RN assigned to the patient, volunteered to tell the elderly mother. Noemi went to the mother’s side, kneeled beside her and communicated to her that her son was no longer living. The patient’s mom began to sob, and Noemi began to hug her and hold onto her. At one point, I believe Noemi began to tear up as well.
I wanted you to know what Noemi did for the family. I saw first-hand the ministry of this caregiver, and I hope she will be recognized for her compassionate care and service to the family.