More Than Just A Nurse – A Member Of Our Family

Rosemarie, a nurse in Pine Valley for the past eight years, takes care of patients who have been discharged from the hospital, but are not quite ready to return home. Officially, her job is to change IVs, give medication, care for open wounds, feeding tubes, arrange therapies, dialysis, etc. However, anyone who’s been under Rosemarie’s care knows her job description goes far beyond this.

Born in the Philippines, Rosemarie was raised in a culture that stressed a deep respect for elders.  Rosemarie not only respects the elderly patients, but she treats them as if they were her own parent or grandparent. She talks to them, she takes care of them, she sits with them, she holds their hands.   The patient’s progress is her progress and the patient’s pain is her pain.  Sarah, a patient, stresses “Rosemarie is always there for me.  Even if her shift is over, she will stay if I need anything.”

Just as important, Rosemarie is there for the patient’s family as well.  “As important as it is to respect the patient, you must also respect the family,” Rosemarie states.  “I always involve the family with the patient’s care, always keeping them informed and keeping them upbeat and focused on the goal of recovery.  The family is an extension of the patient and vice versa. If I take care of the family, the patient is happy as well.”

Last winter, an elderly man was admitted as a patient following surgery.  His devoted wife visited him every day, staying by his side from morning to night.  One evening, just as she was leaving, a mixture of snow and ice began to fall.  While on break, Rosemarie saw the elderly woman walking cautiously and slowly down each step outside.  Without stopping to get a coat, Rosemarie ran after her, escorting her safely to her car.  She did it for the woman’s safety; she also did it for her patient’s well being and security that his wife was safe.  Although not the job of a typical nurse, it’s typical of Rosemarie and of all the staff at Pine Valley.