Walk in My Shoes: Celebrating Nurses Week

This week, the nation is celebrating the nursing profession and the countless talented, hardworking and compassionate nurses who provide care to those in need.

To express my appreciation and gratitude to the nurses at Henry Ford Hospital, I thought it would be fitting to have a Walk in My Shoes dedicated to nurses.

So I decided to shadow not one, but three nurses: one inpatient, one outpatient and one intensive care unit.

My experience began with Vince Lehmann, R.N., nurse manager of the Pain Clinic, who invited me to his unit to visit patients and see him in action.

The patients in the Pain Clinic often are frequent visitors, which is reflected in the patient/caregiver relationship. I especially enjoyed talking to a patient who had only positive things to say about the Pain Clinic team.

Vince stressed the importance of the patient/caregiver relationship within the clinic and consequently, the ability to effectively manage service recovery .

Vince’s responsibilities don’t end there. He also does the scheduling, marketing, education, policy development and standardization of processes across all Henry Ford Pain Clinics. Even with his busy schedule, he always makes time to deliver great patient care.

Next up was Bob Stine, R.N., charge nurse of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. A 40-bed unit, Bob has a multitude of responsibilities, including managing the beds in the unit, determining which beds are open, and which patients need to be transferred.

In the time I spent with him, I was able to meet a variety of his teammates, including case managers, physicians, residents and nurses. It is clear that Bob’s ability to communicate effectively with his team is imperative to patient care.

Bob also works with the rapid response team and helps train new residents. I guess you could say Bob is the definition of a “team player” with his engagement and involvement with the SICU staff.

Last, but certainly not least, I spent some time walking in the shoes of Andrea Monroe, R.N., a general medicine nurse on B1. I watched as Andrea greeted her first patient, carefully covering the entire AIDET process.

It seemed effortless as she spoke with her patient and put him at ease.

And I should mention that this particular patient told me how much he not only loved Andrea, but her entire team, from the doctors, nurses, housekeeping, and medical assistants. It’s why he chose Henry Ford Hospital over the “other” hospitals he passes on his way downtown.

Andrea discussed how nurses juggle patient care with charting and collaborating with other care providers. There’s no doubt that time management is key to Andrea’s success.

While there are many differences between the roles each nurse plays in his or her unit, after spending time with Vince, Bob and Andrea, I saw a great deal of commonalities. All three nurses felt service excellence, team collaboration and time management were important aspects to nursing.

When asked why they chose the nursing profession, I was not surprised when all three said they became nurses to help people.

Their passion, heart and dedication is evident in their work, whether it be in the Pain Clinic, SICU or B1.

I would like to say “thank you” to not only Vince, Bob and Andrea, but to each and every nurse who works tirelessly day in and day out.  You are the heart and soul of Henry Ford Hospital.

We could not do it without you.

The above video is a recap of my experience shadowing Vince, Bob and Andrea.

If you’d like to send your “thanks” to the amazing nurses at Henry Ford Hospital, please do so in the comments section below.

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