Makeda Byrd, RN, BSN Davis 6 Cardiology Services
Until my recent experiences with a heart attack, I have not been a patent in a hospital. The nursing staff at another Sacramento hospital (where I had a stent installed) and at UC Davis Medical Center(where I spent an additional cumulative nine days for symptoms that eventually turned out to be a treasonous gallbladder) where excellent But there was one nurse in Davis Tower Six who really stood out - Makeda Byrd.
During my stay at UC Davis Medical Center, the doctors were running a lot of tests and my anxiety levels were quite high. I had just had the pleasure of having a stent installed a few weeks before, had a low ejection fraction (35%) and was now back in the hospital with chest pains.
Of all the nurses (and doctors) that cared for me on that four day visit, Makeda was the one that was able to make me comfortable with all that was on going. Not only did she have excellent technical skills but she had a genuineness about her that really told me that she not only cared about my well being, but that she gave me confidence that things would turn out well.
On the technical side, she knew her way around the equipment and had excellent control when drawing blood. She also was able to explain the function of the various drugs that were prescribed.
On the human side, she repeatedly demonstrated a bedside manner that was incredibly professional and at the same time very human. For example, I was scheduled to have an angiogram and I was concerned that the surgeons knew that just a few weeks prior another hospital had already entered my right femoral artery while installing the stent.
I asked doctors and other nurses, how would the surgeons know not to cut into the prior wound. All of them said, "well, the surgical team will read the notes." But being 51 and the Vice President of a company, I know that sometimes people miss details that are in notes. I also know that rarely, but occasionally, during surgery the wrong body part will get operated upon. I asked if I should be leaving a "do not cut here" note on my skin near the old incision. While the other nurses just sort of politely rolled their eyes, Makeda understood my concern and immediately not only said, "that’s a
perfectly reasonable idea," but she got the Sharpie and with my consent, wrote a very legible not for the surgical team on my groin/leg.
The surgical team, upon seeing the note, said, that they had in fact seen the notes on file, but that the Sharpie annotation was a welcome second check. Needless to say, everything worked out well. And I'm now well on my way to a full recovery.
Of the two hospitals, and 12 days of nurses and doctors, Makeda stands out as exemplary.
As a Vice President of Customer Service, I know how difficult it is to recruit, hire and retain people who are both technically skilled and who have advanced soft skills. Makeda Byrd epitomizes professionalism and is clearly one of these rare gems.