Renee is a nurse that defines compassion

Anonymous, Employee

Renee is a nurse that defines compassion. She demonstrates this quality in countless ways including listening to others, advocating for her patients, promoting patient and family centered care, and exercising patience. Known for her listening skills, she ensures everyone around her is heard and understood. Because of this, Renee is able to meet many of the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of her patients. Renee prioritizes these needs and uses therapeutic communication to help her patients through moments of fear, grief, anger, and frustration.

One night I was caring for a patient that had stayed on our unit longer than most. The patient was discouraged and expressed their frustration with the health setbacks they had encountered. The patient shared how much they appreciated the care he/she had received and mentioned how a couple of people stood out among the rest, one was Renee. Later that night, the patient called for assistance. Renee immediately stepped in when she realized I needed help. The minute she walked into the room, the patient’s whole countenance brightened. Renee and him/her began chatting like old friends as Renee asked them about his/her family and favorite dog. We repositioned the patient in bed, and I left the room to assist one of my other patients. Twenty minutes later, I walked by the room and smiled when I saw Renee had pulled up a chair next to the patient’s bed. I smiled even more when I heard her empathizing with the patient because he/she felt frustrated and discouraged.

Renee also demonstrates compassion in the way she advocates for her patients. She is calm and collected in high pressure situations, possesses excellent critical thinking skills and recognizes urgent situations quickly. Once, when one of her patients was having trouble catching their breath, I witnessed Renee kneeling down to the patient’s level and holding their hand. Renee instructed the patient to take slow deep breaths in and out, using a soothing voice to help them calm down. She calmly explained the oxygen mask and slow breaths would help them breathe better. Through Renee’s coaxing, the patient began to breathe better, visibly relaxed and stopped threatening to take the oxygen mask off.

On another occasion, I heard a cry for help from a staff member. Renee and I rushed into the room to find a confused family member threatening to throw hospital equipment at the staff. I made sure the equipment was a safe distance away and Renee began to speak calmly, reminding the angry family member that this is a hospital,  praised them for how well they had been taking care of their family, and helped them de-escalate, protecting everyone involved. Renee is a testament to what compassion should look like. Her gentle spirit, patience, and kindness are unique. She is someone I feel honored to work with, and I am grateful to know such an amazing person.

Renee Wright is a nurse on the Acute Medical Unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital. She is the recipient of the 2018 Hazel Latondress Compassion Award, and was recognized during the 2019 Nursing Excellence Celebration.