Honourable Mention: Arden Hamilton, RN, North Bay Health Sciences Centre
I entered the AIPU for treatment and intervention to manage my depression in October 2013. That is when I met Arden. Over the next few days I was able to explain an issue I was having regarding my children. Arden took it upon herself to contact the person needed to resolve the issue. Arden was not required to do that because she wasn’t my direct nurse. She had her own case load of patients. That right there touched my heart. I had to thank her for being so kind and helpful. It was selfless.
At the time I was admitted, I was worthless, nothing, alone, and dreadfully sad. She gave me this hope and a glimmer of positivity that had been clouded by my depression and past abuse. Further along during my stay I suffered a setback due to the loss of an integral key player on my health team. Seeing how distraught I was, Arden insured my safety by following protocol. Since I was to be under constant supervision the next day she became my nurse. During that time she spent over four direct hours with me, listening, relating, helping, and educating me on the steps my new doctor wanted me to take. She had this ability to get me to open up about the deepest things in my life. Her calmness and knowledge of different situations made it that much easier.
She played a key role in helping me access certain treatment options as well as accessing certain privileges. She continuously rallied for so many things that would improve the quality of my life. Feeling like I matter has been eye awakening. Arden would constantly push me forward, helping me to exist without fear. She saved my life. Being without a voice for 32 years to meeting this lady and her allowing me to have such a simple thing, like an opinion, helped this change in me.
During my 90-plus day stay I had many nice nurses, but it was Arden that constantly went that extra mile. Not only did she do that but she was extremely humble about it always. All the while, she dismissed this truly amazing and kind behaviour as just part of her job. If every nurse put forth half the effort Arden does, healthcare would be forever changed.
Because of Arden, I know I matter. I know I have worth. I know that there are amazing people in this world who are willing to do whatever it takes to change a life – my life. That is why she is my nursing hero. I cannot ever thank her enough for what she has given me, which in turn extends further to my children. They have a mother because of her. I am forever grateful.
Thank you for reading my story and I hope she gets the recognition she deserves.
Nominated by Laura Albert