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Deb's Story

  • Author: Deb Watkins
  • Date Submitted: Dec 26, 2017
  • Category: Care Partner Stories

"Presence" is offering ourselves and our attention to our job and the people around us, according to Erie Chapman, author of Sacred Work and Radical Loving Care.

When we offer ourselves and our attention to our job, and the people around us, we use our eyes to notice changes in feelings and behaviors and our ears to hear changes in a person’s voice. Our heart is open to loving care.

Third Floor Nurse Lindsay shared an example of presence recently shown by another care partner. In her words:

“I just want to pass on an experience that our Unit Secretary Deb Watkins had with a patient’s family. We sometimes will talk about how we can impact the patients and their families, and it’s nice to hear about things that are helpful for future situations. Deb noticed two women talking with the doctor in the hallway. By the look on their faces, it appeared to her that they had received bad news about their loved one. They quickly went into the bathroom in the lobby. She explained to me that she recognized the look as she herself had been in that situation when her mom had received bad news.

“Deb took it upon herself to stop what she was doing and to take the time to talk with them. She waited outside the restroom with a box of tissues and when they came out, they had a conversation. Deb encouraged them to think that even if their loved one was confused, that they could focus on spending their last days reminiscing, playing music the person loved, and to bring items that were meaningful to their loved one. Deb explained to me that she could see some of their grief leave their faces and could tell they had changed their focus on to this new mission. She explained that she wished someone had done the same with her when her mom was passing.

“When she told me this experience, I just knew this is what we are all about here at Parrish and that we truly fulfill our mission of healing experiences for everyone all the time®. I want to make sure that every team member - no matter what their role - understands that they can make a difference in someone's life every day. Be observant and take the time to make a difference! I know I learned from Deb’s experience and will make sure to make this a focus with future grieving families that I encounter.”