Compassionate Care: She Learned it From Her Mother
“My mom used to always tell me, ‘Treat others how you want to be treated,’” said Haleigh Grieve, BSN, RN, a nurse in the Progressive Care Unit at Methodist Hospital. “And so I do.”
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Grieve became a nurse in December 2017 after graduating from Nebraska Methodist College. Her father, an army medic, also influenced her.
“I’ve been on this floor for five years,” she explained. “I started as a CNA and transitioned as a nurse.”
A kind, gentle and calming demeanor
Her decision to pursue a career in nursing is something Heather Christy considers a blessing.
“She was assigned to my mom’s room for a reason,” Heather said.
Heather’s mother, Bette, was admitted for low blood pressure and a perforated colon. It was during her hospital stay that Heather witnessed Grieve’s kind, gentle and calming demeanor.
“Even during the scariest point of Mom’s stay, she made everything OK,” Heather recalled.
“The doctor came in and told her there was a possibility that she was going to need a colostomy bag,” Grieve explained.
“Which would be life-changing,” Heather added. “Mom started crying. My dad was getting upset. I was trying to stay calm, which was difficult. And then Haleigh came in and said, ‘Hold on a second. This isn’t a guarantee. If this happens, there are so many support groups available. This isn’t the end of the road. We’ll figure this out. It won’t be as scary as it sounds.’”
Heather became emotional when recalling how Grieve always took the time to explain things in a way that she, her mother and the rest of the family could understand.
“That was just so important,” Heather said as she wiped her eyes.
Equally important to Heather was making sure that Grieve was recognized for her efforts. Following her mother’s stay, Heather nominated Grieve for the DAISY Award, which celebrates nurses for providing extraordinary care.
In her nomination letter, Heather wrote: “Her nursing skills were perfect. No detail was ever overlooked.”
Celebrating skill and compassion
“When I found out she was getting the award, I called Mom right away. I said, ‘Haleigh, Mom! Don’t you remember her?’ And she didn’t – she didn’t remember a lot of what happened during her time in the hospital.”
But Bette knew she wanted to be there for Haleigh’s surprise recognition ceremony.
“As soon as I saw her, I remembered instantly,” Bette said. “Instantly. I remembered that compassion. I wanted her to know how well I am, but more importantly, how well she did.”
When it comes to her skill and attention to detail, Grieve credits her own mother, who passed away in May 2017.
"After she died, there was a part of me that thought, ‘What’s the point of doing this – going to school and becoming a nurse?’ But thanks to my family I realized this is what she would want. I was meant to do this. And that part in the letter about no detail being overlooked? That’s who I am now, because that's who she was.”
And as for her kindness and compassion? Grieve always thinks back to the words her mother used to tell her.
“The golden rule,” Grieve said. “That’s what The Meaning of Care means to me.”