My mother was a patient in April. Susie Aul did not demonstrate one of the I CARE principles, she demonstrated all of them repeatedly.
I received a call at the request of my mother, from Susie, so she could talk to me and explain things to me for my mother. I was 1500 miles away on vacation when my mother fell in her home and fractured her hip. My brother was with her; however, he is not a medical person and since I am a nurse, my mother wanted someone to speak to me.
From the moment I spoke to Susie, I knew that my mother was in good hands. Susie spoke with confidence and a trusting tone. She assured me that she would take care of my mom just as I would take care of my mom! Over the next few days I was able to speak to Susie a couple of different times. Not only did she provide reassurance to me but also to my mother. My mother and Susie hit it off and they established great communication between the two of them, set goals in the care of my mother together. Susie established an outstanding trusting relationship.
My mother is very hard of hearing; however, she is very smart and skilled at asking appropriate questions around her care. Susie did not become frustrated or upset, she worked through this with my mother and maintained my mother’s dignity and respect, so my mother did not feel like a bother to her.
I was finally able to meet Susie the day of my mother’s surgery. As we sat in the waiting room, a nurse was walking with my 85-year-old uncle to which he announced that "Here is Susie, our newest family member." What a testament to the commitment and connection she made with my family over the previous few days. My uncle was very impressed with her professionalism, that she walked him to the area rather than just providing him directions and he said that she had spoken to her on the phone several times and felt very comfortable that his baby sister was getting the care that he would expect.
Frequently, as healthcare providers, we need to be our families advocate despite the care we believe they should receive. In this case, Susie was my mother’s advocate. She navigated her needs as if I were standing by the bedside. I have been a nurse for 30 years, I have extremely high expectations of what the care of our patients should be and the care of my family. My team of almost 200 reports all know that we treat each patient as it was their most important family member under their care.
Susie did just that. She cared, reassured my mother and treated her just like she knew that that patient was loved by many people and she wanted to guard their prized possession with her best care.