My father was a patient on the PCU at Vista Medical Center. My 86-year-old dad was a great guy who had experienced failing health over the past few years. He suffered from long-standing, poorly controlled diabetes, triple coronary artery bypass, carotid artery stenting, and more recently a lobectomy for lung cancer that nearly killed him. During previous healthcare experiences, he had a couple of very close calls at other facilities. For all of these reasons, he was pretty fragile and terrified of healthcare in general.
When my father began experiencing chest pain and needed cardiac catheterization, we were worried about him getting the procedure in Jacksonville, FL where he has very little family support. We brought my dad to Vista for an evaluation of his chest pain, which ultimately ended up with him being admitted to the PCU where we met Tyler Martin, RN.
While all of the care my dad received and people he met at Vista were excellent, there is something unique and special about Tyler. Caring and compassionate was not really the difference- pretty much everyone who cared for him could be described that way. With Tyler, there was something more. It was her easy manner of interaction blended with obvious self-confidence that put my dad at ease right away. First off, it was clear that things were hopping on her floor that afternoon. She was very busy, but the moment she walked in the room my dad felt like she knew him, knew what he was there for, and had a plan. Tyler went through the complicated process of getting my dad settled in and orientated without skipping a beat. She acknowledged my dad, mom, and the rest of us in a way that put us all at ease.
The most impressive thing about Tyler was the way she worked with my dad while dealing with all of the other things that were going on. As she was going through the admission process her hospital cell phone rang, obviously from another patient room. She paused for a moment, then cheerfully (and anonymously) addressed the concern from someone caring for another patient on her watch. When that very brief call ended, she skillfully worked it into a discussion about her team and the whiteboard. She capitalized on that call by writing that same cell phone number on my dad's whiteboard and explained: "if you need me for anything, this is the number to get me right away without having to go through a switchboard!" Other members of her care team came in throughout the course of that afternoon, and she is clearly well respected by her staff. She is a patient person who explained things well to her patient care techs. When Tyler's shift ended, she introduced us to the next nurse and did a great job managing him up. She let my dad know that she had worked with him for a long time and that he would take great care of him. Throughout our time with her, she always knew what was going on, managed up the doctors and team caring for my dad, and kept us informed. She even came back and visited him the next day when she was assigned to another floor. We all laughed that she could have been a good air traffic controller or orchestra conductor!
My father's stay at Vista left him in a much better frame of mind. Although there was nothing more that medical care could do for him, he was truly at peace and the remainder of his two weeks at my house became a very nice vacation that I will always remember. He returned to Florida and unfortunately, a week later, came down with a stomach flu that ultimately spiraled into a complete metabolic breakdown that he lost in the end. He passed away shortly after that. In the memory of my father, my family and I would like to nominate Tyler for the DAISY Award. She played a big part in my dad's last three weeks on earth being calm and at peace and she is one of the best nurses I have ever met.