“We’ll take good care of her”

Posted by Kristin Baird on August 20th, 2013 • 4 Comments »

As I write this, my mother is in the hospital battling an infection resulting from a fracture that won’t heal. I have spent hours with her at the hospital and, in the process, talked in detail with her orthopedic surgeon and hospitalist. They raised our confidences that no stone was being left unturned in her diagnostic and treatment plan. They patiently answered every question and graciously accepted my assistance (as a nurse, I can’t stop myself from adding my 2 cents). This type of interaction was reassurance to my scientific mind and helped ease my anxiety. This alone wasn’t enough to make me feel comfortable leaving for the night. It was the nursing care that gave me the reassurance she was in expert hands.

Not only is her room across from the nurses’ station, but every request we made was responded to efficiently and with a positive, helpful attitude. After having been with Mom for hours, both my husband and I really needed sleep. I was still nervous about leaving, seeing that her temperature was elevated, and all signs pointed to sepsis.

When Joan (the RN) came in, she told us the plan for the night. She explained to my mother that they would be coming in to hang the next IV antibiotic and would wake her up to take vital signs. Joan reassured her that she would do her best to make the interruptions brief. Joan was everything we teach in our service excellence classes at the Baird Group. She managed expectations, explained medications and treatment plans, engaged the patient, and included the family with a positive, professional demeanor. Joan made evident she is experienced, competent, and compassionate.

“We’ll Take Good Care of Her”

After seeing Joan in action, my husband turned to me and said, “If she was taking care of me, I’d feel really confident that I was in good hands.” Hearing that and seeing the evidence for myself, I started to feel comfortable with the thought of leaving for the night. I asked Joan if she would call me if Mom’s condition worsened. She agreed. So seeing that my mom was finally sleeping comfortably, my husband and I prepared to leave. As we stepped out of the room, Joan said the words I so desperately needed to hear: “We’ll take good care of her.” That short sentence tells a loved one that it’s OK to leave, that they have things under control, and—most of all—that they care.

While the physicians did a good job of satisfying my scientific mind, it was the nurses who gave me the most reassurance by satisfying the needs of both my head and my heart. The staff raised my confidence that appropriate and timely medical care was underway. They showed compassion for my mother and an understanding of my anxiety. When a nurse tells a family that they will “take good care,” they are giving an invaluable gift. It’s a gift of reassurance. It’s permission to leave for the night. And finally, in my case, it’s a promise to be there when I can’t.

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Baird Consulting

4 Responses to ““We’ll take good care of her””

  1. MJKlymas says:

    Good morning Ms. Baird

    Your article reflecting your experience is what we strive to provide our patients/families within healthcare. As a VP Operations for a healthcare system and acute care nurse practitioner, compassion and caring is what we hope all healthcare providers bring as a minimum to the bedside. Yes, nurses are the patients/families lifeline in times of crisis and through their ability to also coordinate care and communicate , make all the difference . Your article is very refreshing and a great example of nursing’s contribution

    Thanks for sharing
    MJ

  2. Tom Dahlborg says:

    An absolutely beautiful and powerful article, Kristin. Your sharing from both head and heart (like the nurses) connect so well with readers and truly bring home the powerful points of your piece.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    And best wishes to your mom (and you and your husband).

    Tom

  3. Wendy Leebov says:

    Kristin,

    Wonderful article! I’m sending you and your mom my thoughts and prayers….

  4. Thank you all for your kind wishes. I’m glad to report that my mom recovered beautifully and was discharged 4 days ago. Kris


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