Random Acts of Kindness

Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can be the best medicine. 
 
Nathan (Nate) Hughes is a patient transporter at Wilson Health. Hughes is responsible for transporting patients who require in-hospital transportation to and from special services or treatment areas within the Wilson Health facility.
 
Often times Hughes will take the time to get to know the patients he transports. “He just has that type of personality,” says Brian Scheid, director of imaging and cardiovascular services. “Knowing that how he interacts with patients can often times affect the way they feel in the midst of uncertainty or when they don’t feel well is truly a gift, yet Nate will tell you he’s just being himself.”
 
Recently, there was a patient in the hospital for an extended period of time. Hughes was responsible for transporting the patient to different lab and imaging services. He got to know the patient and made it a point to stop in and say hello every day. When the patient received some disappointing news, Hughes sat with the patient and offered words of encouragement and comfort. An aspiring photographer, he even went as far to bring the patient a very special picture that the patient will treasure forever (the exact words of the patient).
 
“I always put myself in the role of the patient,” says Hughes. “If I can say or do something to brighten up a patient’s day or make them feel more comfortable, I will. I know if the roles were reversed I would want to be treated the same way.”

A patient was recently admitted to the Acute Care Unit and had no family, both of her children were deceased and her physician served as her POA. The patient had left the unit to undergo some testing and when she returned there sat a beautiful vase of flowers on her bedside table. Accompanying the flowers was a card that included a simple Bible verse, but no signature or name. The patient immediately asked her nurses if they were the ones responsible for this kind gesture. The nurses told the patient that they were not. After putting two and two together, they realized it was Hughes who had purchased the flowers and placed them in the patient’s room to brighten up her day.

"Our president and CEO, Mark Dooley, is always encouraging staff to ‘care without limits’ and explains to caregivers that it is often times not what we do to care for our patients, yet how we care for them that is most memorable,” says Scheid.

"I don’t do these things in hopes for the recognition,” says Hughes. “When I was growing up I vividly remember there were people in my life that went above and beyond to help my mother and me. I always told myself that when I was older I was going to pay it forward. It just so happens that I work in an environment where a simple act of kindness can go a long way. It’s the least I can do.”