Friday, December 12, 2008

Two proud dads

A grateful note I received from a new father, and then please read the reply from the chief of service, with whom I shared it:

I just wanted to take a moment to email you in praise of the experience my wife and I had on Monday when she gave birth to our first child. The nurse we had in Labor & Delivery at BIDMC was literally a godsend and responsible for how well things went. Our nurse, Patricia Higgins is a woman that we will never forget. It was unbelievable to see the commitment she made to us to help us through the process, how skilled she was, and to benefit from the amazing energy and positivity she kept up throughout what was a very long process. Of course, I expect nurses in Boston hospitals to be top notch, but Tricia stands apart as literally the best nurse I have ever seen regardless of the hospital or specialty. I understand she's been with the hospital for 28 years now, and seems to really love her work and where she works - and it shows.

My wife was committed to a natural child birth without the need for pain medication given a history of adverse reactions she's had to pain meds. Being in labor for 60 hours (about 1/3 of it in the hospital) without sleep or food made following this plan very difficult to say the least. Tricia was there every step of the way to the end resulting in our beautiful baby boy and a birth that followed my wife's hopes for limited intervention. There is no doubt in our minds that my wife would not only have had pain medication without Tricia's expertise, support and guidance, but she would likely have had a Caesarian birth due to her exhaustion.

I am struggling with the right words to say in praise of Tricia as I feel that whatever I write doesn't come anywhere near how we feel about her and the job she did for us. I hope you don't mind my sharing this with you.


Thank you so much for taking the time to send this note. Trish is one of those gems who make us very proud to be associated with her. I've worked with her for many years, and I'm continually impressed by the skill, professionalism, and humor with which she approaches her work.

Trish has impressive medical roots as her father, who passed away earlier this year, was the White House physician for JFK and LBJ. He was very proud of her and would have greatly appreciated your letter.


Kristin Baird said...

Thank you for sharing this letter. Every day millions of nurses serve patients all across this country. They are there as a newborn breathes his first breath. They are there throughout many of life's most memorable (not always pleasant) moments and are there at the side of our dying patients providing vital end-of-life care. Nursing is no spectator sport. We are in the thick of the real service of health care each and every day.
If you haven't done so lately; Take a look around you. There is probably at least one nurse that you could thank today. Your recognition could be the catalyst that re-ignites her passion for the profession.

Mary said...

Wow! Sounds like an awesome experience! Her father was the white house physician to JFK? Wow! Impressive indeed! What a lovely thing it is when people decide to take the time to recognize and express appreciation for the efforts of others! If everyone was as full of gratitude as that young father, I think the world would be a bit nicer!

Anonymous said...

This is a great example of what can happen when clinicians and patients work together as a team.

I am sure that Tricia used her creativity and experience to both accommodate the wishes of the mother as best she could, and maintain safety for both of her patients.

As the father's letter points out, it is much easier for clinicians to put patients into a checkbox on a form (i.e., "standard" medication protocols, C-section) than it is to treat them as individuals with needs that may change minute by minute.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Exceptional service by the nurse, and exceptional feedback by the customer.

Wonderful share. :)