All the staff in the Surgical ICU know my nurse preceptor, Philip Amante, as a very knowledgeable person. While this holds true, Phil is much more than that to me, his preceptee, and every patient Phil had provided care for. On multiple occasions, Phil has proved to be a kind and compassionate nurse who goes above and beyond for those around him, especially his patients.
One particular instance was when we were caring for a 20-year-old newly admitted trauma patient in a room filled with the patient’s family members. I glanced over at the family and, understandably, saw how terrified and overwhelmed they all were as they worriedly stared at their loved one laying in the hospital bed. I then glanced over at Phil and saw that he also recognized the anxiety and stress in the family’s eyes, as he was immediately proactive about it. Phil began to discuss the plan of care with the family and constantly provided them with updates throughout the evening, in hopes of calming their nerves and providing high quality, family-centered care.
When it was time for a neurological exam to check the patient’s baseline status, Phil asked the family if they wished to participate in the assessment because he recognized that the patient has a higher probability of performing better upon hearing familiar voices. Being the great nurse that Phil is, he gently held the patient’s hand and encouraged the family to say the patient’s name. At this time, the patient responded to his father’s voice and slowly began to open his eyes. By seeing this improvement in their loved one, the patient’s mother and sisters cried and looked over at Phil. I could see the appreciative look in each of the family members’ eyes as they looked towards Phil. His care and support toward the patient were deeply appreciated and cherished by the entire family. By involving the family in the patient’s neurological exam, it provided the family with an opportunity to feel like they had some control over this unexpected situation. The immense impact that Phil’s presence and actions had on both the patient and family that evening tremendously decreased the family’s stress level and lifted some weight off the family’s shoulders when they left that evening, knowing that their loved one would be safe and well cared for with Phil.
As a nursing student, it was extremely inspiring to see Phil in action and for Phil to keep his word to the family by taking great care of the patient. Throughout the night, Phil closely monitored and assessed the patient’s condition, and on top of all of this, he continued to precept and teach me critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Reflecting back on that night, I realize how much of an impact Phil has made and continues to make in every patient, family, and staff that he comes in contact with. Phil is a true DAISY Nurse.