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Blogtober at Montefiore
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Blogtober – an Exploration of Medicine, Research Innovation and Compassion

 

 

One month…filled with nearly 30 posts, lots of laughs, some tears and even more examples of why our associates love caring for our patients. Blogtober at Montefiore was our first foray into blogging and we loved it. Doctors, nurses, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners and many other members of our Montefiore family spoke from their heart and gave an inside look into their work, their passions and their favorite stories.

Having worked at Montefiore more than 30 years, I have my share of stories about special patients I've known. One such patient has remained part of not only my memory, but the memory of my entire family. This special patient, Sophie, was an 88-year-old widow who was hospitalized throughout the holiday season. There were few visitors, in fact, I don't recall ever seeing anyone at her bedside. To pass the time, she would crochet little items and give them to the nurses who cared for her. Certainly nothing fancy, but each stitch was perfect and thoughtfully made. 

As a young nurse working Christmas Eve, I can assure you I could think of nothing more important that getting home to enjoy a Christmas Eve dinner with my then boyfriend's family.  As I signed out for the day, I went into Sophie's room to check on her and wish her a "Merry Christmas."

She called me to her bedside and asked me to hold her hand for a moment. When I opened my hand, I saw she had placed a small package wrapped in tissue paper. She insisted I unwrap it on Christmas morning. I gave her a hug, thanked her and for some unknown reason, I promised her I would never forget her. The next day, I carefully unwrapped her gift to find a crocheted Christmas ornament of white ice skates, laced with red and green yarn and paper clips for the blades.

That was in 1981. The boyfriend became my husband. We had three wonderful children, all of whom were youth ice hockey players. And every year since 1981, I carefully unwrap the tissue paper that protects one of my most favorite ornaments and I talk about Sophie. She's part of our holiday tradition but most of all, her memory lives on through me and my family.

We each have so many opportunities to make a difference in patients' lives. I take great pride in nursing excellence and all the wonderful ways we impact patients. What I have come to realize is that nursing is a gift that goes both ways. As much as we give of ourselves to our patients, they often give us so much more.

Everyday special stories like mine are written at Montefiore. Through Blogtober we were able to offer a glimpse into the good work taking place at Montefiore. We joined this national movement to encourage the sharing of experiences and we consider it a success because we reached thousands of you looking to know more about us. As this month comes to a close, we hope you'll continue to visit our website to learn more about the inspiring, powerful and personal stories of our patients and staff. And our blog will be back in 2014, so get ready for more great stories!

Susan Green-Lorenzen, RN, is senior vice president of Operations at Montefiore Medical Center.



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