This last Thursday, I had the best experience to be cared for by an awesome nurse named Cassandra. I wish I knew her last name, but all I know is she goes by the name Cassi. She was a traveling nurse from the Cleveland area who had accepted a temporary assignment at the hospital here in Columbus.
When Cassi entered my room that Thursday morning, I was feeling extremely exhausted and desired to be left alone. However, Cassi's positive attitude was infectious and uplifting. She noticed that my room had not been cleaned and took it upon herself to tidy up, which I gratefully acknowledged as I lifted the covers off my face. She suggested I open the blinds to let in the beautiful sunshine as she continued to clean my room. Though I declined, she persisted with her uplifting words and said, “Mr. Bowman, it’s such a beautiful day. You are missing out,” and she proceeded to open the blinds to let in the sunshine. Her smile was so warming, her wonderful attitude and demeanor were so uplifting, Cassi acted and spoke as if we were old friends catching up after a long time apart.
Throughout the day, Cassi went above and beyond to ensure that I was comfortable and had everything I needed. She regularly checked in on me and engaged in friendly conversation, making me feel as though I had a friend by my side. Cassi's positive attitude and words of encouragement motivated me to get out of bed and she got me to take little walks around the hallway to exercise my weak body. Every time I saw her, she greeted me with a smile and continued to offer motivating words to keep me going. Her unwavering support was just what I needed during this challenging time.
Before the end of her shift, Cassi went above and beyond once again. My bowels had not functioned for four days and I was experiencing discomfort, and despite my embarrassment, I needed an enema. Cassi handled the situation with ease and a positive attitude. She reassured me, saying, “Mr. Bowman, this is my job and I'm not bothered in the slightest. If you make a mess on the floor, that's okay. I'll be happy to clean it up because it means your body is functioning. And that's fantastic news.” Cassi's compassionate and understanding approach helped to alleviate my embarrassment and discomfort, and I was extremely grateful for her help to assist my body getting to function properly again.
Encountering individuals who truly go above and beyond the call of duty to serve and uplift with a sincere and positive attitude is a rare occurrence. However, this exceptional nurse was undoubtedly a Godsend. Her willingness to exceed the responsibilities of her professional role and her unwavering determination to serve me with kindness and compassion demonstrated that she was truly an angel in my life. I will always be grateful for her exceptional support and the positivity she brought into my life.
I feel compelled to share this story as a means of recognizing this exceptional nurse who went above and beyond her duties. In stark contrast to many of her colleagues that I encountered, she stood out with her remarkable positive attitude and compassionate care. Sadly, I observed that many of the other hospital staff members appeared burnt out and simply going through the motions. They didn't seem to acknowledge my humanity or the extra details in my needed care, and instead were preoccupied with their own hectic schedules. One nursing assistant told me that he was in a rush. And another staff member I encountered the day after my surgery grumbled at me for asking for assistance as she walked by my room. And later that day, I was reprimanded by a nurse because I kept needing assistance.
My hospital experience left me with the impression that the medical field is on the verge of collapse, much like other areas of our society. It appeared to me there is a severe shortage of staff at this particular hospital, and those who were working seemed to have lost sight of the fact that their job is a calling from God, not just a paid profession. It is a profession that serves as a ministry to aid and impact the lives of people dealing with challenging ailments. I am deeply grateful to Cassandra and all the staff who provided me with medical care during my recovery. I wish I had a picture of me with Cassandra to share with the world so that everyone could appreciate the incredible nurse she is. THANK YOU.