Some time ago, a dear friend of mine needed to have major surgery. She was terrified. She was worried about the changes in her capabilities the surgery might bring, and she was dreading the hospitalization. She was not terrified of the actual surgery; she is a very stoic person. She was terrified of the loss of dignity and privacy and the loss of herself as an individual within such an enormous medical center.
“I have always been tremendously proud of the Brigham and our nurses, but never more than at that moment.”
She plucked up her courage – with reassurance and support from her family – and had her surgery. On her first post-operative day, I went to visit her. To my surprise, she was sitting up in bed, smiling and talking with her family. I told her how well she appeared to be doing, and without a moment’s hesitation, she said, “It’s these nurses. The nurses here on 12A are the most amazing, kind, skilled and caring people I have ever encountered. They are simply wonderful. They respect my privacy, they are always close at hand to help and they know exactly what they are doing!”
In 22 years as a department chair and three years in my current position, I have always been tremendously proud of the Brigham and our nurses, but never more than at that moment.
Ron M. Walls, MD
Executive vice president and chief operating officer, Brigham Health