Blood draw creates grateful patient

Jack Chubb: December 05, 20111 Comments

At Community we work really diligently to teach all our employees the importance of little things. We're big on knocking, introducing ourselves, explaining why we're in a patient's room and what's going to happen and when. We all know kindness does wonders when people are scared and sick. But this note from a patient, whose name we withheld to protect her privacy, really tells the story. It's a perfect story to share at this time of year when we take stock of our blessings and give thanks.

Here it is in her words as it came to the Community Regional Medical Center administration:

I wanted to take a moment to tell you about my experience in the Emergency Room (Community Regional) a few months back.   I was there for chest pain and just not feeling well. I was in a bed in the hallway in the Yellow Zone. I had been waiting for a little while, when a young man named Chris for the lab came up to me and introduced himself and said that he was there to draw blood at the doctor's request and told me which test he was drawing and what they were for. He explained them in a way that I could understand, and then asked my permission to proceed.

I find that very rare and odd - most people don't take the time to do those things listed above or ask permission. I like that Chris asked and didn't just start doing things until he told me who he was and what he was there for.  What a great thing for him to do!  However, just before he got started, the doctor arrived.  He introduced himself and told me he would be back in a few  minutes - then left. Right after that a nurse came up and told Chris to not draw my blood just yet - that she was going to start an IV and asked if he could stay there. He agreed and waited.

Chris must have recognized that I was scared. He looked at me and said "Don't worry sweetie, we are going to do everything we can to make you feel better and to find out what is causing this pain. You're in good hands, trust me;  I have been a patient here myself."  He sat in the chair next to me and held my hand, and just talked to me to distract me from worrying.  The Nurse returned and explained everything that was going to happen,  how long I may have to wait, and the reason all of this was being done.

The nurse was great and her interaction with Chris was amazing - they talked as if they had been working together for many years, which to my surprise, they hadn't.  Chris was new to the hospital and never had worked with that nurse before. However, they talked to me like a person - like a person who was a dear friend.  They showed that they were interested in my health and my emotions as well. They made me feel like I was in great hands and that I need not worry about a thing because they were going to take care of me. 

The reason I remember Chris is because  every time he passed by me he asked if I was okay and how I was feeling.  I was later  told I would be admitted but that it may take some time to get me a room.  At the end of his shift,  Chris took the time to tell me that he was going home and he wished nothing but a speedy recovery and good news about my health.  He gave me some words of encouragement and with great humor.    His humor came at the perfect time and made me smile. I asked  him if I could have a hug, just as I did with the nurse, and without any  hesitation he bent over and gave me a big hug - the kind of hug you would give your grandmother. The nurse did the same as well and she made me feel  like she cared and that I was a friend she had known for life.

It is rare to find people like that who show interest in me and my health - especially in an emergency room; a busy emergency room (that night your ER was busier than Black Friday at Walmart) and to see Chris, the nurse, and the CNA who helped me, all work together like a well oiled machine is just astonishing.

I also have to mention what I call fate and is another reason why I remember Chris, the lab guy, so well. The next day, in the room I shared with another person on the 8th floor, I heard a guy come into the room and start to introduce himself to my roommate and explain what he was there for, and so on. When he said he was done and asked my roommate if there was anything he could do for him, I said  "Chris" and his reply was "Yes, I will be right there." Can I tell you how excited I was! I just knew that it was the same person from the previous night in the emergency room.

(Behind the curntain) he said "Knock-knock, can I help you with something?"  When he pulled back my curtain a bit and I saw his face he appeared to be just as happy to see me as I was him. He greeted me with a huge hug and asked how I was feeling; we chatted for a minute or so then he told me that floors 7 and 8 were his that day and whenever he could he would come and check on me if that was okay with me. Throughout the day the lab guy came back by and said hello - I always got a hug.

I was not sure if I would see him again before I was released but to my surprise after getting dressed and the arrival of my friend, guess who came back in? Yes, it was the lab guy, Chris. I introduced him to my friend  who was there to pick me up, and who I had been telling about how nice he was. She thanked him and told him it was nice to know she was in good hands.  He was busy and I didn't want to take up much of his time but I gave him a hug again and told him how thankful I was that he was there in the emergency room last night because he and that nurse changed my fears about being there.

When I thanked Chris for being kind to me he said "There is no need to thank me. I am here because I love what I do and I truly do care for everyone that I help. I don't do much; I am just the guy who draws your blood and takes it to the lab. The day that I stop enjoying my job or notice that my compassion level is almost gone then it is time for me to find a different job." I told him that I knew he was going to work there forever because a kind person like him could never stop caring as much as he did.

I know most people don't realize how much a small gesture of kindness or compassion means to a person who is scared, confused, and alone in a situation like I was. That nurse made me smile and feel safe but Chris, the lab guy, was the icing on the cake and made the most impact on me during my stay with you. He said he was just the guy that "drew the blood," but I am asking that you tell him he is more than that. His kindness, his compassion, his ability to make a person laugh or smile is a trait that is more valuable than any skill that can be taught - he has the gift of "heart".

I since have moved out of state but I hope if I ever have to go to the hospital again that there is someone who is as kind as the nurse and lab guy at the hospital I am at, but I know that will not happen because your hospital has the two that I will compare everyone to. No one will match them or your hospital. Those two people should be used as examples on how to make a person who is scared, feel comfort.

Thank you for having great people like those two at your hospital.

A Thankful Patient


One response to Blood draw creates grateful patient


fabulous. this should be published and put on the hospital walls! This says exactly what patient care is all about. compassion. genuine compassion and kindness. Way to go Chris and the nurse. love this story

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