Victoria Wickman

Victoria Wickman

Victoria Wickman, BSN, RN

Telemetry Unit
Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
Charlottesville, Virginia
United States
Victoria seemed to intuitively understand what I must be feeling and offered me heartfelt comfort and reassurance throughout her shift.

I was sleeping on the couch in my husband's hospital room when I was woken up by a nurse that needed to draw blood. When I removed my husband's CPAP mask, he was not breathing (at first) and he was completely unresponsive. As the room filled with doctors and other hospital staff it appeared chaotic to me but when I looked at Victoria, she appeared calm and professional while answering questions from people whom I assumed were doctors.

At the same time, she didn't stand back and let others take over, she took her responsibility as my husband's nurse seriously and remained actively involved in his care including (to my relief) accompanying him for a CT scan. As they were leaving the room with my husband, she asked me if I would like to go with them.

I suppose the things I mentioned above are what you expect from your nurses and that you may wonder why I feel she went above and beyond her responsibilities. Over the years my husband has been hospitalized many times and it has been my experience that too often when I have asked a nurse a question about my husband's care, medication or scheduled tests, etc. and they understandably often do not have an answer, their usual response is, "Let me check into it and I will get back to you". It seems more times than not that meant at least four or more hours, the next day, and there have been times when I have never received an answer.

Every time I asked Victoria a question to which she did not have an answer, she would return in a reasonable amount of time with an answer or an explanation for why she didn't know (trying to reach the doctor, etc).

I am grateful to her for all those things but there is something else she did that I cherish in my heart. When she noticed I was deeply troubled by my husband's condition - I was afraid I may lose him - she came and asked me how I was doing. Although I had trouble articulating my feelings, Victoria seemed to intuitively understand what I must be feeling and offered me heartfelt comfort and reassurance throughout her shift, and let me know she would be around for a couple of hours after her shift if I needed her.

We learn over time that it can come at a cost to ourselves when out of compassion we offer others comfort and support and we have to be willing to take that chance before we offer it (and why so many people refuse to get involved). And I would think a nurse would discover that sooner than most people do.

I wish I were wealthy, only because I find that words alone cannot convey the depth of my gratitude for her unselfish willingness to offer me comfort. This is why I truly believe that Victoria went above and beyond her responsibilities as a nurse.