Bedside manner: Nurse Jody Clough comforts patient to the end
By The Pulse Aug 7, 2013
As a nurse on the WMC surgical unit, Jody Clough doesn't provide comfort care often. Most patients come in, have their surgeries and go home.
This man was different. He arrived for an emergency surgery one morning in June, but the surgical nurses already knew him well. He’d been fighting a chronic illness and had come in several times over the past couple of years for various procedures.
“We had developed a rapport with this patient,” Clough said. “He’d gone through so much already. He’d broken through and conquered so much. He’d survived all that he’d been through to that point. For him to come back, it was hard.”
It soon became clear he wouldn't pull through again, and nurses realized his family wouldn't make it in time. Clough decided he wouldn't die alone.
Clough has worked at Wyoming Medical Center for 13 years and has been a nurse for 17. Nursing wasn't necessarily a calling, she said, but a stable career that would support her two children after her divorce. She went back to school and got her GED. An aptitude test concluded her compassion and temperament were well suited for hospital work, and she put herself through nursing school.
The man was on oxygen and in a semi-private room with another patient awaiting surgery. Clough wanted him to have his privacy, so she moved him as soon as a private room opened.
“I just stayed there and held his hand and kind of caressed his head. I talked to him a little bit. I just wanted to be there,” she said. “We knew that his time was short. It would have killed me if he had passed away all by himself.”
Clough said his name and reminded him where he was. Other nurses came in to pay their respects. Though he was technically non-responsive, they saw small reactions, Clough said.
“(Clough) told the charge nurse that spending time with this patient was her priority until the family came in,” said Connie Coleman, surgical unit nurse manager and a member of the Employee Advisory Council.
“This is nursing at its finest.”
Clough thinks any of her coworkers would do the same.
“I think it’s indicative of the wonderful patient care we provide every day,” Clough said.
“Even though these kinds of things only happen once in a while, this kind of care is an everyday occurrence. We really do care.”