A Nurse’s Kindness

I experienced person-centered care a  few years ago my husband had back surgery. When he came out of recovery he had tubes going into and coming out of every part of his body. He was in tremendous pain, and I was very concerned. Wanting to provide a little comfort, I loaded some of his favorite music onto an iPod.

Wally, the night nurse, popped into the room and exclaimed, “Acoustic guitar! That’s awesome!” and then he asked, “Is that Otmar Leibert?” I nodded, and he said, “I love that guy!” He spent a couple of minutes with us. He asked some personal questions about Alex, and he told us a few things about himself, including the fact that he played the guitar in a band.

Later that evening when Wally came back in, I asked if I should spend the night. He said, “Why don’t you go on home and get a good night’s rest. I’ll hang out here with Alex, and we’ll listen to music.”

I now know that Wally had a very heavy workload. He didn’t have the time to “hang out”, but he acted like he had all the time in the world. He made me feel like he genuinely cared about my husband as a person – not just a patient. He made me feel safe, and he humanized what could have been a very clinical and scary experience. If you’re a professional caregiver, chances are you have encounters like this every day. I want to let you know that your small acts of kindness have a huge impact on your patients and the people who love them. Thank you!