Caregiver: Mary Simpson, RN, Marlborough Hospital
Mary Simpson’s day begins with an assessment of her patients’ needs -- going over medications, prepping them for tests, performing documentation, placing physicians’ orders and making certain the caregivers on the next shift are fully informed about each individual patient’s care plan.
But empathizing and socializing with patients is as important to the quality of their care as any other aspect of the hospital experience. “Patients are more willing to open up to you about home life and personal issues if you establish a high level of comfort for them,” said Mary, a long-time Marlborough Hospital nurse. “Laughing with them when appropriate and sharing with them helps them feel more comfortable with me, and makes them feel safer. Getting to spend time with their families is also very important. I want them to see me as a resource for them.”
Caring for patients can run the gamut in terms of sociability; Mary explained that sometimes it necessitates intimate, one-to-one communication. Most often, however, it calls for everyone to come together and work as a cohesive unit. “We are a team,” Mary said of her relationship with her fellow caregivers. “For example, when we have a code notifying us of an urgent patient need everyone jumps to their role and works together; we always do. I know people have my back and I don’t have to ask. In turn, people know I have theirs because we trust each other implicitly.”
For Mary, establishing trust with each patient and family is a vital responsibility as well. “I know the other team members very well, but learning about each patient is so important. I don’t want to be a stranger to them or their family; I want to be someone they can count on.”