Patrick impressed me early on in the program with his sensitivity and insight to his patients' responses and ability to plan/implement individualized and family-centered nursing interventions. He showed a quiet strength and potential for role modeling the compassionate and quality care that all nurses can and do aspire to.
This past January 2018, some of the students traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico for our Global Health and Populations course. One of the clinical sites is an Intensive Care Unit in a low-resource public hospital. General sanitation measures are generally inadequate. Available equipment is largely outdated. And this year the nurses were on strike and the unit was more short-staffed than usual. Little of the patient care provided conformed to our US medical/nursing standards.
The charge nurse kept apologizing to Patrick for the shortcomings that were all around. Despite not being able to speak Spanish, this student conveyed with body language and a gracious smile that all was well. Then one of the nurses in Oaxaca asked if Patrick might know how to operate an electrical bed that had been donated. The nurses had been using the bed for 3-4 months and no one yet had been able to figure out how to change the angle of the head of the bed. Not only was the bed different, but the buttons were all labeled in English. Patrick took a look at the bed and within the space of 2-3 minutes, an impromptu in-service was organized with him teaching the nurses all the bed's features in a calm, systematic, and thorough fashion. He answered concerns and questions about the bed, reinforcing that no concern or question was to be discounted: warmth, caring, compassion, and collegiality.