A Special Day on the Special Care Unit
Recently, the staff of Special Care had the honor of caring for a patient and his wife on their 55th wedding anniversary. Our patient—let’s call him Mr. Love—began experiencing some cardiac complications just before his planned discharge. When it was decided he needed an echocardiogram, his nurse, Mary Cohn, and Rebecca Howe, SCU charge nurse, quickly rushed him downstairs.
Meanwhile, there was an anniversary to celebrate.
Mary had secretly spoken to Mr. Love about Mrs. Love’s preferences—chocolate, flowers, both?—and Heather Cox, patient care technician, raced to Trader Joe’s to pick up her favorite bouquet. Rochelle Surgeon, food service attendant, arranged for the delivery of a “wedding cake.” Father Flynn heard about the couple and offered to renew their wedding vows.
When the patient returned from his echo, Heather, Mary, and Rebecca distracted Mrs. Love by asking her to come to the nurses’ station (the Patient Satisfaction Survey is useful in many ways). Meghan Russell, patient care technician, snuck the flowers into Mr. Love’s room so he could surprise his wife. The staff all gathered around the corner of the room to watch as Mrs. Love returned.
It was awesome! Mr. Love couldn’t hide his huge smile. After a minute or two of conversation, he pulled the bouquet out from behind his geri chair and wished his wife a happy anniversary. She burst into tears—and so did many of the SCU staff.
This is the stuff of Special Care and AAMC. Everyone, including management, staff nurses, patient care technicians, Dietary, Spiritual Care, physicians, and the Echocardiography team worked hard to make this a special day on Special Care.
I am so proud to be part of an organization that encourages its staff to think outside the box, enabling us to be a part of our patient’s–and their families–experience in personal and creative ways.
-Mary Cohn, BSN, RN