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If you ask a nurse what makes the biggest impact on the patient experience they will likely tell you, “It’s the little things.” A listening ear, a gentle touch, or a warm smile may in fact be “little things,” but they are truly second nature to the nurses of St. David’s HealthCare (SDH). The more than 3,280 SDH nurses provide the highest standard of care for our patients every day, with unrivaled professionalism, steadfast leadership, and indisputable dedication.

St. David’s HealthCare nurses humbly serve patients and their families by taking their lives in their hands and providing empathy and comfort. These stories are but a handful of the beautiful and immeasurable “little things” that St. David’s HealthCare nurses are doing to impact our patient’s lives:

  • Nurse Alyson had an ICU patient in a neck brace whose hair had become knotted and matted from lying in bed. Alyson gently washed, conditioned and completely detangled her patient’s hair; the patient’s husband was amazed with her work.
  • Nurse Dave had a disoriented patient that couldn’t sleep. After discovering the patient was a Frank Sinatra fan, Dave put the patient at ease by playing Frank Sinatra songs and sitting with him to listen to music. The patient sat calmly with his eyes closed and a smile on his face.
  • Nurses Katie Jo, Renee and Delia had a NICU patient with a rare disorder not compatible with life. They arranged for a special outdoor photo shoot of the infant patient and her family, and provided the family with priceless memories.
  • Nurse Charisse had a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer and was told she would lose her hair from chemotherapy treatments. Charisse had previously gone through treatments and had also lost her hair and wore a wig. After seeing how upset the patient was, Nurse Charisse offered to give the patient her own wig; the patient was overjoyed and cried with happiness.
  • Nurse Lisa cared for a young homeless man, who was in need of a liver transplant. She talked with him, gained his trust and helped him make the decision to return home to his family. Nurse Lisa also obtained a bus ticket and sack lunch for his journey. The patient said he had never been treated with such compassion and respect.
  • Nurse Dana had a patient who was at the end of life and did not have any family. She stayed with the patient and held his hand until he passed so he would not have to die alone. Nurse Dana says she never allows a patient to die alone.

The nurses of St. David’s HealthCare are also key contributors to the awards and accolades SDH has received, including most recently the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. All of the St. David’s HealthCare hospitals are designated Pathway to Excellence by the American Nurses Association, and this year, three of the five named TNA District 5 “Fab Five” winners are St. David’s HealthCare nurses. It seems the so-called little things that SDH nurses do for their patients have added up to great things.

This week, May 6th – 12th, we celebrate National Nurses Week, recognizing nurses for their hard work and dedication to the profession. To all of the St. David’s HealthCare nurses, thank you for the little things you do to go above and beyond the call of duty. Beyond your supreme clinical abilities, your simple acts of kindness provide our patients with the most sincere form of compassion and respect. It is certainly the little things that move mountains for the patient’s spirit.

Meg Moss
Human Resources
St. David’s HealthCare

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