After more than 6 weeks in ICU, GL was transferred to our unit with a grim prognosis and regarded as “un-rehabilitatable” by the majority of his care team members. The extremely debilitated patient had suffered cardiac arrest and sepsis requiring weeks of ventilatory support. Upon transfer the patient was largely unresponsive, requiring very frequent tracheostomy suctioning, contact isolation for MDRO infections, colostomy care, PEG tube feedings, supra-pubic catheter care, Permacath care as he was on hemodialysis, not to mention multiple stage IV pressure ulcers. Patrina coordinated the considerable amount of nursing care required for this patient skillfully and compassionately. She frequently updated the patient’s family and looked beyond his grim reports and saw this suffering soul as his family did, as a father, as a husband, as a racecar driver and as a bowler with a sense of humor.
By the end of the first week, the patient was starting to communicate with Patrina and she continued to expertly deliver and explain his plan of care. It takes an incredible amount of talent to coordinate the care of such a complex patient and distraught family. The art of compassionate nursing care is consistently exemplified by Patrina. GL’s eyes would light up when she was caring for him. By the second week, GL even promised to teach her how to bowl someday. She bonded with a patient that many might have given up because she recognized him as a person who is loved by others and has a unique life-story. Currently, this patient has returned to the ICU and his fate is presently unknown. However, the inherent power of the nurse-patient relationship was evident to those who witnessed the quality care rendered for GL’s –body, mind, and spirit.