Above and beyond, the extra mile, beyond the call of duty.
Any way you phrase it, a hospice nurse in northern Michigan made the extra effort for a patient during a snow storm.
“It’s the third time that they have closed the actual health department due to weather in 23 years,” said nurse Nancy Miller.
Huge snow drifts, blizzard-like conditions, and impassable roads. Enough to stop most, but not those who care for the most vulnerable.
“Something I think we have here at hospices is a can-do attitude. If somebody has a need we don’t say ‘no’, we say ‘how we can do that?’
On Monday, nurse Miller was called in to help.
“We got a call from a hospice patient who really needed to have a nurse visit, and the nurse that took the call, that was working, lives in Brimley, about 20 miles away. So, she called me. She knew I lived fairly close to this patient and asked if I could go over. I said sure, I can do that, and I went outside and realized we had a lot of snow.”
So, Nancy strapped on a pair of snowshoes and made the near half-mile trek to the patient’s home.
“It was still snowing, it was still windy. It took a good 15 minutes. They needed a nurse there, I left there feeling good that I was able to help them. I think they felt much reassured that I was there.”
At the end of the day, nurse Miller is still pretty humble about her new nickname, Angel in Snowshoes.
“I’m sure that if I couldn’t’ have done it, our director would have found someone to get a snowmobile out here to get to the patient’s house. This is bittersweet. I love having the attention for hospice and the Chippewa County Health Department, but the patient is the most important person here, I shouldn’t be getting all the attention.”