The Sierra 6 Team goes above and beyond for their patient population every single day. To pinpoint one single event or person would be impossible for our team, as every single staff member on our unit deserves to be recognized! We care for a very diverse patient population, including patients who are on our unit for extended periods of time. These patients struggle with challenging discharge barriers, lack of outside support from family and friends, are not financially, mentally, or physically able to safely care for themselves. Because of this, we sometimes become the only family or support system these patients have while in our care. The following are just a few examples of how our team makes a meaningful difference in the health and wellbeing of our patients.
A few of our staff members wanted to ensure that patients who would need to be in the hospital during the Christmas holiday last year were able to celebrate and experience some holiday cheer! Angela Hamilton spent time with her kids at home on her day off to make Christmas cards for patients sending them Happy Holiday and Get well Soon messages. Bonnie Nguyen came to the hospital on Christmas Eve with her children and spent time Christmas caroling around the unit for individual patients and groups of patients.
Tirzah Sneed has created and maintained a clothing closet designated to Sierra 6 for our patients who are in need of clothing while in the hospital or prior to discharge. She frequently does laundry for patients who are in the hospital for an extended period of time, and even came in on one of her days off to have a “Tie-Dye” party with them. She brought all of the clothing and Tie-Dye materials and ensured every patient who wanted to participate ended up with a special Tie-Dyed T-shirt.
Emily Stewart was caring for a homeless patient who was extremely anxious about her belongings. Due to her extended stay in the hospital, she was going to lose her bed at the shelter and her belongings were going to be discarded. They were the only belongings she owned, and they were left at the homeless shelter when she was brought into the hospital. She was extremely scared that she would lose her only possessions and was not able to get any rest or focus on her plan of care. After Emily’s shift, she went to the homeless shelter and retrieved this patient’s belongings for her. This patient was so grateful and said, “I know it doesn’t seem like much, but those are my only possessions and mean the world to me. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for what she’s done.”
S was a patient on our unit for over a year, so the staff got to know her very well. S suffered from severe Crohn’s Disease and Schizophrenia, and it helped her relax when she heard the sound of running water. Because of this, she would always turn on the sink in her room and leave the water running. As education and redirection were often ineffective with S, the staff thought outside the box and bought a miniature waterfall for S to keep in her room. This gave S a continuous sense of peace and relaxation during one of the most difficult times of her life.
A was another patient we would like to highlight. He suffered from end-stage Dementia and short term memory loss. His close friends would come to visit him every week, however shortly after A would become worried and ask staff, “Has anyone ever come to visit me in the hospital, does anyone care about me?” Recognizing that A would benefit from a way to remember his visits with his friends, the staff took pictures of A with his friends during their visits, printed them out, and placed them in A’s room. This impacted A’s hospitalization, reminding him daily that he had a great support system and giving him the gift of memory.
L was one of our most active patients who loved her daily routine of yoga exercise – waking up with the sun each and every morning! Realizing that L was performing yoga without the necessary equipment, our Nurse Megan bought L her own personal yoga mat. L was so thankful, she had tears in her eyes, used her new yoga mat every single day, and even took it with her when she discharged.
In efforts to increase engagement and team morale, our unit has created themed days such as; Neon Mondays and wacky sock Wednesdays. One of our current patients spends most of her day interacting with other patients and staff at the nurse’s station, enjoying conversation and being in the presence of others. Staff went out of their way to include her in Neon Monday by tying her hair in a cute high ponytail with a neon scrunchie. This gave the patient a sense of belonging and made her feel cared for and included.
Our staff frequently take extra time to paint our patients’ nails, buy them their favorite color sweater or slippers, bring them their favorite thing to eat, take them on “field trips” outside to the healing garden, or just sit with them at the nurse’s station to play a card game or do some artwork. There is true compassion and selflessness in everything they do for our patients. Our team recognizes that the littlest gesture or the smallest amount of time can make a world of difference for our patients. Our nurses truly look beyond the medical needs of our patients, make personal connections and recognize each patient’s individualized needs, making a genuine difference in each of their lives.