November 2017
Coronary Care Unit
University of Virginia Health System
United States




From the moment I met Pam, it was clear that she would be a wonderful coworker. What I didn't realize at that time, was just how giving and compassionate she really was. She will never hesitate to help a coworker, whether it be swapping a shift or lending a hand with patient care. She is nurturing and loving to coworkers and patients alike. There is a young patient currently staying on our unit who has been in the hospital for 3 months in need of a second heart transplant. Pam has treated this patient as if she were her own daughter. She has come into the hospital on her days off to help this particular patient take a real shower (which is a huge task, as we do not have bathrooms on our unit and the patient has multiple devices connected to her for monitoring). Pam is currently in the middle of planning a movie night for the patient, just her latest venture in helping this patient feel like she is more than just a patient in the hospital. This patient got engaged just before being hospitalized and Pam helped to organize an engagement party for her.
I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be a 21-year-old confined to a hospital room for an unspecified amount of time. Pam has gone absolutely above and beyond making this patient's stay more tolerable. It is inspiring to see a nurse like Pam in action. This is just one extraordinary example of her love. Pam is amazing because she has the utmost patience and sweetness for every single one of her patients.
Pam Robertson cares for one of the CCU's long-term patients in the most remarkable and exceptional way. Our patient is a young female awaiting a heart transplant. She has been on our unit since the beginning of July. Pam goes above and beyond the typical nursing duties to provide extraordinary compassionate care. She is known to come in on her nights off to bring the patient food that she likes from her favorite restaurants, to bring popcorn and movies so that she and her fiancé can have a "date night", and she even brought in a pedicure tub to give the patient a "spa night". Pam has also taught her to crochet so that she can make gifts for her family members. The most incredible act of kindness Pam has given to this patient is an engagement party. Along with another CCU colleague, Pam planned and executed an evening of food, games and time with loved ones. She even created a shirt that the patient could wear to the party instead of a gown that still allowed for her to be monitored safely and receive her IV medications but feel less like a critically ill patient. The room was decorated so that it felt less like a hospital room. These are just the activities Pam has accomplished when she was not assigned to work! When Pam is working and is this patient's primary nurse she makes sure she gets in her physical therapy by taking her for walks (even on night shift), she maintains sterility in caring for her central lines to prevent infection, and she routinely takes her off the unit to take a real shower.
Pam is one of the most experienced nurses in the CCU whom all of us look up to. One night the patient when into a dangerous rapid heart rhythm requiring a push of adenosine. Pam talked the patient through the procedure and taught her to keep her eyes closed so that she wouldn't feel the side effects as badly. Pam made the patient exponentially more comfortable during an anxiety-inducing emergent procedure.
Pam's compassion, clinical expertise, excellent communication skills and calm bedside manner have made a tremendous difference in this young patient's hospital stay and as her co-workers, we are honored to work beside her.