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When a Nurse’s Kind Acts Gave Me One of My Best Hospital Experiences

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To Whom It May Concern,

Recently I was admitted to Mission Medical Center. I was assigned to a room and remained there until my discharge a few days later.

• What is PTSD?

During my hospitalization, I had the privilege of having a nurse care for me, and the purpose of my letter is to commend her on her excellency and commitment to patient care.

To begin with, I’d like to mention that I was born with a rare and very complex congenital birth defect that has required numerous hospitalizations throughout my life, starting at birth and continuing to present day.

I have been cared for by hundreds of nurses over the years and in many different settings. I have experienced both above and beyond levels of nursing care all the way down to substandard and downright deplorable nursing care.

Today, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude for what I can honestly say was one of the best hospital experiences I have had, and that was due in large part to this nurse.

She expressed not only the utmost professionalism, but she also went above and beyond her duties to make sure all of my needs were met in a timely manner, even though the floor was extremely busy on this weekend.

Furthermore, I experience severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from years of medical trauma. The most routine procedures will often cause me to react physically and emotionally in ways that appear to be over the top, unreasonable and irrational, and out of proportion to what is going on.

When I experience PTSD, as I did over this recent hospitalization, I am often met with overt frustration and irritation from both doctors and nurses alike.

My PTSD episodes are often minimized, ignored and in many cases have resulted in attitudes and behaviors from medical personnel that end up exacerbating my PTSD rather than in attempts of calming or even acts of basic human compassion.

This nurse was present at a point in which I experienced a rather significant episode of PTSD over a procedure I was told I had to have. Not only did she show me great compassion, she also took the time to seek out the answers to all of my questions regarding the procedure. She went out of her way to contact and communicate with all of the various doctors who were collaborating on my care in order to explain to me exactly what their reasoning was behind my care plan. Furthermore, she helped me explore alternative options if any existed.

This may not seem like much, but to me and to patients like me, these simple acts of kindness and compassion make all the difference between a positive experience versus a negative one.

After initially refusing to have the procedure done out of absolute fear and anxiety, I was able to push through and agree to allowing the procedure to happen.

Each occurrence of a positive hospital experience diminishes the potential for a subsequent negative experience to happen, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

This nurse epitomizes what good nursing care is all about. She is professional and compassionate; efficient and knowledgeable; warm and friendly and was there to offer assistance within moments of all of my numerous requests.

Anyone assigned to having her as their nurse is fortunate and will not be disappointed.

Stephanie Allen

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: January 9, 2016
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