Yesenia Eisenhardt
November 2019
Labor and Delivery
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
United States




I would like to take the time to recognize my colleague, Yesenia, for the time she took consoling a patient recently. We worked the same 12-hour shift that day. Nurses all know the kind of relentless shift that deeply challenges us - body and mind. Most of us can relate to the feeling of watching the clock turn to the time that means we can go home and work on recovery from the day by returning to our families or relaxing into the couch and a favorite TV show. It was exactly that kind of day. Yesenia bore the brunt of it as the triage nurse.
At the end of the shift, a patient came into some extremely difficult news. Heartbreaking news. News that will take hours and days and then a lifetime to come to terms with. I felt terrible for her as I heard her crying while I headed for the locker room to get changed. When I walked outside about 20 minutes later, Yesenia was still in her scrubs. She was sitting at eye level with the woman she had just met and held her hand. She was listening intently and offering calm reassurance. She didn't see me walk by. I thought she might and later found she stayed for hours even though she was to return for another shift the following morning.
I wanted to go back and take a picture of Yesenia and the way she took the time to stay with this patient. I wanted to offer it to her as a framed gift or turn it into one of those inspirational posters for all of us other nurses to look at when we need that gentle reminder of the honor it is to do our work. I don't know whether she thought twice about it at the moment, but Yesenia found enough in herself left to be a new stranger's emotional anchor for a few more hours - and she gave it. She offered her patience and compassion freely that night after a tough day.
I don't know Yesenia well because I am new to Hopkins but walking by her that evening and realizing what she was doing and the emotional and mental fortitude it must have taken to do it made me want to try harder. It made me want to find ways to give a little more. It made me feel proud to be here and to work among such a dedicated team.
Thank you, Yesenia!