Pamela has been my nurse for 20 plus years. I usually see her outpatient for doctor visits and occasionally inpatient when I am in the hospital and she is making rounds. I lack the skills to truly get across how much of an impact she has had on her patients. She is personable, smart and helps keep patients followed so they don't fall out of care. From the beginning, Pamela would come into the room to ask the medical questions she needed to ask, go over my questions for her and the doctor, and still have time to ask about family, friends, jobs and in general how I was doing. She would remember things from the prior year and ask for follow up. These questions were not only about my health but about me as a person. Time seemed to stop. As the patient, I always have her full attention for as long as needed. From early on I understood that this nurse went above and beyond what she learned in nursing school. Through the Adult Congenital Heart Association, she does webinars to help patients have a better understanding of their bodies. So many times when I've gone to the doctor's office, she can look at me, tell me what is wrong, but then remind me that the doctor still needs to see me. She does not allow patients to fall out of care. Via email, she will reach out and mention to me when I need to come in and what tests need to be ordered. She will go out of her way to make sure that the scheduler can take over and easily schedule me. As much as I would like to not go for my annuals, she makes sure that my care is continued. I don't think this is part of her job, but just part of going above and beyond.
A couple of years ago I passed out and went to my local emergency room. The emergency room doctor called my UCLA doctor, who was out of town, so the on-call doctor told me to call his office on Monday to schedule an appointment with him. Through the emergency room doctor, I was trying to gather information for the on-call doctor and things started to get misinterpreted. Soon I said, "Can I email Pamela and have her schedule it." He said, "excellent," as if he too knew that if it was to get done, she would make sure it gets done. I emailed Pamela, and she got back to me with an appointment time and even had that doctor come to my regular doctor's office so I could be in the setting I was familiar and comfortable with. That is good practice.