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It's the Little Things That Make Nursing So Rewarding

Over the past five years, my experiences in the medical surgical unit have molded me into becoming a better and more knowledgeable nurse. Being a nurse is a special experience – one that allows you to build bonds with patients. However, since we only know our patients in the hospital setting, we sometimes forget that they also have lives outside of these walls.

I will never forget one elderly patient I cared for recently. His wife was also admitted to the hospital, but she was transferred to a different unit. As I rounded in the patient room, the only complaint the man had was that his wife was on a different unit. It was evident to see that this made him anxious and unhappy. He told me that they had been married for 60 years and have never been apart from each other.

Despite the medical challenges on the unit, I began to put myself in his shoes. Although he was sick and in the hospital, his sense of comfort and healing was in knowing that his wife was safe and would be by his side. I managed to gain approval to make some changes to accommodate this couple.

Throughout the day, we would see this man walking with his cane and looking out of his room to see if his wife was coming down the hall. Even though the staff reminded him that the room had to be cleaned and paperwork had to be processed, he was eager to see his wife's arrival on the unit.

I cannot even put into words the excitement and joy on this man's face when she came down the hallway. He must have said "thank you" at least 10 times and came running to greet his wife. This sweet moment brought tears to our eyes. Helping this man reunite with his wife was the best thing I did that day.

We take for granted the simplicity of life. It truly is the small things that make most people happy. It's knowing that our loved ones are safe and within our arms reach. It's easy to be task oriented and go about our daily routines. We all need to take a step back and focus on the most important things in life; for this couple, it was their true love and comfort in knowing they were close to one another.

Days later, the husband became very ill and his prognosis became poor. He eventually passed away. Everyone who knew this couple was heart-broken. The only peace and comfort I had was knowing that I was able to be a part of making his last wish become reality. The small things you do for people go a long way and are never in vain.

Renzy Mathew, RN, is a patient care coordinator at Montefiore Medical Center.

Posted by blogmoderator on 10/24/2013 at 8:49 AM Add Comment