Hanford medical assistant Rossana Cobian, who usually serves in a medical office, volunteered to help in the hospital during the December COVID-19 surge. Image via Adventist Health
Written by Breanna Hardy
Last year’s Nurses Week recognized nurses in the height of a tragic year. This year, there is time for reflection and celebration.
Nurses Week observes the contributions nurses make to the health care sector and beyond. Two Adventist Health staff members recounted one nurse who made a lasting impact on patients’ families.
Laurie Taggart, patient care executive for Adventist Health in the Central Valley, thinks of nursing supervisor Cindy Lane, who watched over a Covid-19 patient.
“Because family was not bedside, Cindy chose to stay back and hold the patient’s hand. And she prayed with the patient and she stayed with that patient until the family arose,” said Jennifer Sheldon, director of special programs for Adventist Health Hanford.
Sheldon said that Lane couldn’t leave the patient alone; she saw the value in connection since the family couldn’t be present. Adventist Health staff recognized Lane with the Daisy Award, a world-renowned award that acknowledges nurses who go above and beyond from a family’s experience.
“And I think we’ve had countless stories like that with nurses holding hands, praying with patients, giving them comfort, hope,” Taggart said.
Celebrating Nurses Week has special meaning since the pandemic shaped nurse-to-patient relationships in a new way.
With no visitors, they had to be creative, acting as the hands and ears of the patients, Sheldon said.
“Not that we took the profession for granted, but we just assumed we were nurses caring for patients. And then as time went on we became families that were there for patients,” Sheldon said.
Taggart said the profession has earned a greater respect and appreciation. Families also experienced the hope through tragedy that nurses could bring to patients this year.
They both described the height of the pandemic as “all hands on deck.” But what has kept them excited about the profession even after a challenging year is the family relationships. They see it as an opportunity to show hope, love and healing to patients.
“It’s still happening; it’s not over,” said Taggart.
But the vaccine has brought a lot of hope to contain, and hopefully end, the virus.
This year, Adventist Health is partnering with Quesadilla Gorilla, which will provide free quesadillas for different locations throughout the month of May. It will take food trucks out to all four hospitals in the Valley and more than 60 clinics.
“I think it’s just that we stand out as making a difference in patients’ lives and we’re recognized for that,” Sheldon said.