However, Amy LeCroy Nichols, a registered nurse at WellStar Douglas Hospital in Douglasville, believes the same holds true with regard to educating patients who are awaiting surgery or receiving treatment for an illness.
Her compassionate, understanding and even, at times, humorous approach to educating patients about their health care, has drawn the admiration of the Georgia chapter of the March of Dimes.
The group named Nichols one of its nurses of the year award winners this year.
A registered nurse who has been with WellStar Douglas Hospital in Douglasville since 1997, Nichols was one of only 16 nurses throughout the state honored by the March of Dimes out of more than 800 nominees.
Among the gifts she received for the honor was something she carries with her while performing her daily nursing duties — a new stethoscope.
Nichols, a married mother of two daughters, ages 4 and 8, said she was surprised, honored and humbled even to be nominated.
“I believe educating patients with regard to their health concerns and doing so in a compassionate and loving manner can be a most powerful medicine and help increase positive patient outcomes,” Nichols said.
According to Sheila Ryan, state director of the March of Dimes, the nurse of the year award recognizes nurses who demonstrate exceptional patient care, compassion and service.
“The winners of this year’s awards are a testament to the caliber of nursing talent that is in our state,” Ryan said.
“We know that not only the winners but all the nominees are truly committed to their patients and the nursing,” she said.
Nichols stands out among her peers when it comes to patient commitment, even if that patient has no hope of recovery.
“I had the pleasure of caring for a terminally ill patient once who had the love of his life with him through his illness but they had never been married,” she said.
Knowing his illness was terminal, the patient confided in Nichols that he wanted to marry his longtime love before he died.
“We arranged to have the wedding right there in his hospital room, complete with a minister, wedding photographer and even a Champagne toast to the couple,” she said.
“We were able to make him happy and content, even in his last days, which personally meant so much to me and the other nurses.”