Nurses transform patient’s behavior with kindness

Nurses transform patient’s behavior with kindness

For the nursing team working the fourth floor at Advocate South Suburban Hospital, healing patients’ physical ailments is all in a day’s work.

It’s special cases, like their recent teamwork to help one 89-year-old patient rediscover his smile, that stand out as cherished moments and reinforce why they love their jobs.

The notoriously cantankerous patient was in the unit’s care for 67 days when the team’s mission of compassion began. Despite the patient’s cranky demeanor and frequent use of “salty” language, each shift included the patient in their Dec. 24 holiday cheer. The nursing team, and staff from other areas of the hospital, placed a Christmas tree in the patient’s room along with numerous gifts.

To say the patient’s behavior changed for the better is an understatement.

“On Christmas Day he opened his presents and had the biggest smile on his face,” recalled ASSH Nurse Clarissa Downs. “This was a highlight of working Christmas Day for all of us. We truly had the Christmas Spirit that day.”

Among the gifts were much-needed pants, a sweater, socks, underwear and a Christmas card the entire fourth floor staff signed.

The gifts continued on Jan. 3, the patient’s birthday. Downs gave him a robe, which he wore as the team sang “Happy Birthday” over a colorful birthday cake. The entire staff came together for this birthday celebration.

“In this time of uncertainty, it brought all of us joy and happiness to bring happiness to this grumpy guy who’s not so grumpy anymore,” Downs said.

Click here for more stories about doctors, nurses and others working on the front lines.

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About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on the Public Affairs team for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.