HCA Healthcare’s foundation is built on small, special moments that impact our patients, and their care, in a big way. At the core of these moments are nurses, who display selfless acts of comfort and kindness on a daily basis, seeing patients through their weakest and most vulnerable hours.
Nursing moments are rooted in passion and empathy, and lead to patients defying insurmountable odds.
In honor of National Nurses Week 2019, here are some of our favorite HCA Healthcare nursing moments from across the country.
P.S. – You’re bound to be inspired to do more, be more and to give more.
ER nurse gifts shoes to homeless patient with blistered feet
Our first nursing moment showcases the altruistic actions of military veteran and emergency room nurse, Josh Petty.
When a homeless patient showed up to Brandon Regional Hospital’s freestanding ER in Temple Terrace, Florida, Josh noticed there were holes in the soles of the patient’s shoes. After seeing the patient’s painful blisters and listening to a series of unfortunate events that led to the patient’s ER visit, Josh decided to take it upon himself to brighten the patient’s day.
Josh purchased and gifted a brand new pair of comfortable shoes for the patient.
With this act of generosity, Josh not only restored comfort for the male patient but energized our faith in humanity.
Brave nurse eases the cancer journey for patients
As part of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, caregivers offer comprehensive care through access to cutting-edge cancer therapies and clinical trials. Nurses support patients throughout the cancer journey, facilitating care from diagnosis through survivorship. One dedicated nurse made it her mission to alleviate a little stress during her patients’ cancer treatments through a novel wardrobe idea – port shirts.
Felicia Feldkamp, a nurse in interventional radiology, saw many oncology patients struggling with what to wear during chemotherapy. Many patients have a device called a port, placed in the upper right chest, to draw blood and administer treatment. These ports need to be easily accessible to caregivers.
Recognizing that the chemo-clothing should be the last thing her patients should have to worry about, Felicia began volunteering her time and sewing skills. The radiology department donated shirts, and Felicia began to add zippers to the upper corners, for easy port access.
Felicia’s first port shirt was given to a family that received it with tears and gratitude.
The shirts have become a hit for the hospital’s oncology patients.
NICU nurse bridges patient-communication gaps
At any given time, MountainView Hospital’s Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) cares for 16 to 18 tiny patients. Alita Andaya became one of those premature babies this past January.
When NICU nurse Johanna Gurr learned that Alita’s parents, Rosemarie and Joel Andaya, were deaf, she knew she had to do something to help gain the parents’ trust. Something that would help them feel more comfortable through their 2-pound daughter’s treatment and recovery.
Thus, Johanna began to learn sign language.
A NICU mother herself, Johanna said, “The job of parents is to care for their babies. When something goes wrong and plans change, the parents can feel helpless or even feel like a failure. But they are certainly not failures. A big part of my job is to break down that anxiety, explain that their baby will be on a different journey, and they will play a key role in that journey.”
Alita now weighs 7 pounds, and her parents are forever grateful for the extra mile taken by Johanna to bridge communication gaps.
“Johanna really helped me, and gave me confidence to hold my tiny little baby,” said Rosemarie Andaya.
Turning personal crisis into calling
When Cathy Sumner, Coliseum Medical Centers’ women’s services director, was in high school, she became pregnant and had to drop out. Shortly after giving birth in an outlying hospital, Cathy’s tiny daughter had to be transferred to Coliseum’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
An otherwise scary time, Cathy was met at the NICU by a person who would change the trajectory of her life. NICU nurse Kathy Tillman showed empathy for the young mother and gave her the confidence to face what was ahead.
Cathy went on to finish her schooling, graduate from nursing school and become a nurse herself, all thanks to Kathy Tillman’s encouragement. Cathy ultimately married, had four more daughters and is now the director of the unit where it all started.
Kathy Tillman, the nurse that made a difference in Cathy’s young life, still works at Coliseum. Today, the two nurses work alongside each other as colleagues.
Cathy’s passion lies in helping patients with postpartum depression, spurring from her own daughter’s experience with an extreme case of the maternal mental health illness. Cathy and her daughter, the baby from the beginning of this story, advocate for awareness of postpartum mental health issues.
Parking lot delivery made possible by fearless ER nurse
In the emergency room, nurses have to be prepared for it all. HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake ER nurse, Brandon Smith, got the thrill of a lifetime when he delivered a woman’s baby in the hospital parking lot.
The mother-of-three had been at home, recovering from a stomach virus, when her water broke at 2 a.m. Thinking they knew the drill after having three babies, the mother and her husband piled everyone in the car and headed to the hospital. Only five minutes away, still on the highway, they realized something was different about this labor.
The mother, in immense pain, instinctively climbed up onto her seat into a squatting position. She reached between her legs, felt her baby’s head and knew that it was time to call 9-1-1. At the hospital drive, they were greeted by police, EMS, and a team of ER nurses.
Brandon opened the door to get the woman up to the labor and delivery unit, but there was no time left. Baby Jackson was delivered into Brandon’s waiting hands.
For a moment, time stood still: the baby wasn’t crying. Brandon instinctively turned the baby over, rubbed his back, and was met with the most wonderful sound: Jackson’s first cry.
War veteran lends a hand during disaster
War veteran Jennifer Beechum was amongst the first group that arrived in overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed, Jennifer received news that her mother had fallen ill. Realizing her mother did not have much time left, Jennifer was compassionately reassigned stateside. Jennifer served as her mother’s caretaker, staying by her side in the hospital, until the end.
As she transitioned to civilian life, Jennifer looked for the same feeling of “family” the army gave her.
Accustomed to thriving in a demanding environment, Jennifer hit the ground running when she entered the healthcare workforce. She became an emergency medical technician (EMT) and then a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Jennifer found her “family” at TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center and bridged to become a registered nurse (RN) through HCA Healthcare’s reimbursement program. Jennifer now serves as the hospital’s trauma performance improvement coordinator and uses her army experience to bring healing to the patients around her.
Knowing first-hand the critical nature of aid when disaster strikes, Jennifer quickly volunteered to help out when Hurricane Michael rocked Florida to its core last October. Jennifer provided much-needed relief for two weeks at sister facility Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.
Tiffany (North Carolina)
In Sickness and in Health: nurse arranges for ill patient to attend his daughter’s wedding
After a wreck happened outside of her house when she was a little girl, Tiffany Rose decided she wanted to become a nurse. “I felt like I was called to help those people,” she said in the McDowell News.
Tiffany is now the acute care team leader at Mission Hospital McDowell and, last November, she went above and beyond to help a patient in need.
This nursing moment starts with a patient in his mid-60’s who was hospitalized for cellulitis, a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Because of his hospitalization, Tiffany learned the patient would not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. He needed assistance to walk around, was on an IV and was taking antibiotics for his infection.
Tiffany refused to accept that this patient would not be a part of his daughter’s big day.
She contacted hospital administration and her chief nursing officer and arranged for the patient to be transported by ambulance to the wedding. With the aid of two people, the patient was able to walk down the aisle during the ceremony.
“He arrived right on time and he got to stay around for the reception,” said Tiffany. “He was very appreciative and that made it all worth it.”
Want to be a part of these special moments? Visit here for more information on nursing careers at HCA Healthcare.
HCA Healthcare is one of the largest employers of nurses in the country, with 94,000 registered nurses holding positions from bedside caregivers in a variety of healthcare settings to leadership positions throughout the organization. HCA Healthcare is a learning healthcare system that uses its more than 31 million annual patient encounters to improve patient care and save lives.