TJ Sobeck
November 2020
Thomas
Sobeck
,
RN
12W Pediatric Medical Surgical Unit
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

 

 

 

It is rare to see people who can work seamlessly at their jobs, making it look easy while also remaining extremely vigilant of the patient's condition, all while performing care that attends to every detail.

Nurse Thomas (TJ) on 12W is as fine of a nurse as I have met throughout the last 5 years of receiving care during the inpatient stays with my daughter, who was born with Spina Bifida, and is a frequent flier on 12W. He has been our nurse for several different days and is a rare find in that he is proficient at executing top-notch nursing care, he relates to patients by putting them at ease while providing care, he talks with families, making them feel welcome and lastly, he is extremely thorough and professional in communicating with doctors and relaying information to the family.

He put my daughter right at ease as soon as she met him, by always telling her what he is about to do, how it will feel, and classifies tasks as "easy stuff" so the little ones can breathe a sigh of relief that the upcoming care will be painless. I have had other nurses who fall behind on care when they get busy, but Thomas is always out in front of what has to be done, while also making sure the room is well-stocked with supplies necessary for upcoming care procedures. We did not have to ask him, it was simply done, and done in a spirit of humility and kindness. It is rare to see people who can work seamlessly at their jobs, making it look easy while also remaining extremely vigilant of the patient's condition, all while performing care that attends to every detail. He was so genuinely interested in what my 4 year old had to say and stopped to help her with her IV or something else that was needed on the days he was not working with us. He is just so nice and brightens the energy in a room!

One noteworthy interaction occurred the day after my daughter was taken off Contact Precautions. She had a 24hr time period where we were not sure if she was positive for C-Dif or not. After my daughter was found to be negative for the bacteria, a portion of her chart had not been updated, so was not allowed in the Child Life room because they thought she was still in isolation. My daughter was so disappointed! When we returned to her room, Thomas asked why we were back so quickly, so I explained the situation. He offered to immediately update the chart without being asked, and then took the extra step of calling Child Life and letting the staff know there was some confusion, but my daughter was cleared to play. That kind of action provides an intangible boost in healing and health because children feel like they have someone advocating for them and that their nurse cares about both the big and little things that come with being a patient. My daughter is in a wheelchair and had been in the hospital for over 2 weeks due to a slow recovery from surgery. It takes a lot to get her up and willing to go in her wheelchair because she is so weak and exhausted. Part of the carrot that day to get her in the wheelchair was to go to the Child Life playroom, so it was really disappointing to not be allowed entrance. However, Thomas was willing to fix it without being asked and understood implicitly that she needed that boost to spur her on in her recovery. In the subsequent days at Mott, he offered to help me get her in the wheelchair, even on the days when he was not her nurse. He is a real find for this hospital, and parents like us that are beyond grateful for that kind of care and concern.