Sarah Brannigan

Sarah Brannigan

Sarah Brannigan, BSN, RN-BC

4 West Inpatient Surgery
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, New Hampshire
United States
I’d be lonely at times and Sarah would make time in her day to come cheer me up.

Recalling the care he received from Sarah Brannigan during his treatment and recovery on 4 West, Sarah’s nominator kept on returning to the way the staff nurse went “the extra mile” in her care for him.

“Just saying ‘thank you’ wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I wanted to do more.”

Nursing is a very holistic approach to healing, which gives nurses the opportunity to really contribute to their patients’ well-being. Following this approach with her patient, Sarah checked his spirits throughout the day as much as she looked after his immediate physical needs.

“I’d be lonely at times and Sarah would make time in her day to come cheer me up,” the patient recalled.

Sarah also pursued the residents and doctors handling the patient’s case, and further researched his medical issues. “I wanted to know about my health and she went the extra mile in helping me to understand.”

She did all this in a workday with only so many hours – “one of the challenges to do the kind of job that I want to do,” she said. And yet found time to help the patient understand health problems afflicting his parents from 450 miles away.

“I couldn’t check on them,” he remembered. “I would tell Sarah the diagnosis that they were given, and she’d look it up and explain it to me.”

For Sarah, that’s a natural part of the job. “The most rewarding thing about being a nurse is being able to make a difference in someone’s day,” she concluded, “or maybe in their lives.”