Nursing Both an Art and a Science for Caring Nurse

Susan Peevy Follows Feelings, Offers Compassionate Care to Patients, Families

Susan Peevy

Piedmont Newnan Hospital

Nurses chalk up a laundry list of stories throughout their careers. Yet it was one in particular, an account Peevy refers to as her “dove story,” that inspired coworker Tracey Christensen to nominate Peevy for Celebrating Nurses 2015.

Peevy, an RN in Labor and Delivery at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, had a patient who had just lost a premature baby boy. When it came to discharge the patient, Peevy offered the mother one last chance to view the child. Although the grief-stricken mother passed, her 3-year-old daughter wanted to get a glimpse at her baby brother.

With the patient’s permission, Peevy prepared the baby for the viewing. He was wrapped in a crocheted blanket, crowned in a blue knit cap and placed in a wicker basket. Before delivering the child to the room, Peevy realized this would be an incredibly difficult task. She prayed for the right words to share with the little girl. Peevy then looked around the bereavement room for some sort of trinket to sit on top of the blanket. That’s when she came across a tiny pin depicting a white dove.

Peevy brought the baby and the pin to the room. After showing the little girl the tiny child, Peevy handed the girl the pin.

“This dove is yours to take home and to keep in your room,” she told the girl. “When you are sad and think about your baby brother, just take the dove out to remember him.”

Going beyond the technical medical aspect of nursing, Peevy says, remains an important part of her job.

One her style of nursing:

“To me nursing is not just a science, but it incorporates both the art and the science of nursing. …I believe the patient is who we’re there for. To me that’s what nursing is. It’s being in touch with who you’re taking care of. It’s learning to feel the situation and get on a more personal level than just the professional nurse. It’s taking care of the patient, not necessarily the bedside, but the care and concern. Just like when I was taking care of the patient and the little girl wanted to see her brother. I thought, ‘How am I going to relate to this little girl without her being traumatized?’ I went with my feeling as to how to take care of her. That’s how my dove story came to be.”

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