As I sit here writing this, a physical therapist stops and says how wonderful Paul is to work with, how great he is to the patients and how he is always willing to lend a hand. Whether I am in charge or working an assignment alongside of him, Paul is always positive and willing to help. He takes on and helps with the heaviest assignments, and does so with humor and respect. He seeks out patients with difficulty in care because of language or cultural barriers and finds solutions that work for both staff and patients. The patients all have glowing comments about the care he gives them and how well cared for they feel. He works towards the best possible outcomes with his patients and is a team player across all disciplines. One specific patient comes to mind as I write this.
We had a young man with a spinal cord injury caused by a gunshot. He had a difficult family and social situation and because of this, he was with us for several months. Some of the staff were judgmental about the events leading to the injury and were not always empathetic. The patient required a lot of care initially and did not portray the expected grieving process possibly because of his culture and background. The patient also had a learning disability which required more patience from the staff at times. Paul took this patient under his wing and offered him support even when he wasn't caring for him. He spent time with the patient helping him understand his plan of care and the importance of being respectful to staff caring for him. Sometimes because of the learning disability, the patient would not understand what was expected of him. This made some staff feel like he was being lazy and manipulative which impeded his care. Paul stepped up to the plate each time and explained to the patient the expectations, helped him achieve these goals and defended his concerns with other staff.
Finally a plan was worked out to discharge this patient to a less than perfect place and the patient was very anxious and upset. Paul spent time with him, talking through the situation and how to make it work. He bought him some thank you cards and sat with him and helped him articulate his appreciation to staff. The end product was heart wrenching and made the staff that were frustrated look at the patient in a different light. Because of Paul, this patient was able to be discharged from the hospital with dignity and feeling valued.
Paul puts patients first and is always available to assist in other assignments that require more physical or behavioral care. He is an incredible asset to our units and to Maine Medical Center.