My mother is an 87-year-old from Northern Maine suffering from diabetes, deafness and a number of other physical challenges. She is a fiercely independent woman whose independence was dissipating rapidly in the week prior to her emergency admission to CMMC a few days prior to Thanksgiving.
Being hospitalized symbolizes loss for most people, and my mother is no exception. Our street clothes are promptly exchanged for a hospital gown. What we would choose to eat becomes limited to the hospital menu and is prepared differently than that which we might be accustomed. We may lose control over very private things such as toileting and bathing, this vulnerability is understandably magnified.
The antidote to vulnerability is assurance. Assurance comes in a variety of forms, and often includes feeling understood and cared for by another person; feeling confident in a caregiver’s abilities and professionalism; knowing that another person will "be there" for you; and being made to feel comfortable and accepted in awkward situations, such as losing control over basic bodily functions and the like. Situations encountered every day by nurses, but not so by the patients they care for.
"Assurance" was "personified" for my mother and for our family during her stay on the third floor of the Thompson Wing by an RN named Tamika Harris. Tamika stands tall in stature and taller yet in the calm, personable, professional, and friendly manner in which she delivers patient care. Tamika allayed my mother’s fears. My mother felt safe physically and emotionally in her care. Both Tamika and Sandy (the tech working with her) had a special way of assuring my mom that everything was ok and that she needn’t concern herself with some of the less than glamorous tasks that they sometimes had to attend to in her care. Her embarrassment went out the window when they walked in the door.
If they are lucky, many if not most families encounter that special nurse that they trust completely to care for their loved one. The one that when they know that he or she is on duty that they can leave the hospital and not worry about their loved one, or perhaps worry just a bit less. For my mother and for our family, that special nurse was Tamika. All of the nurses that we encountered at CMMC were just wonderful and I would label them as "the cream of the crop". They do the Institution proud. With that being said, Tamika further distinguishes herself as being among "the cream of the cream". She’s a young woman with teenagers at home who in addition to working full-time is continuing her nursing education. She is to be commended for her exceptional work. May she serve CMMC proudly for many years to come!