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Nomination Letters – Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Ronald Guertin

Ronald Guertin has been an outstanding and caring nurse to our aunt Betty. The first night he made my sister and me feel so comfortable; he took the time to show us around and told us all about the place. He shows his compassion as a nurse; he truly loves his job and is very dedicated to his nursing career.

—Nominated Annemarie Smith

Rick Hedstrom

Pain, fear, ambulance, hospital, no independent movement, no progress, evening move to rehab—REHAB! That’s how my spring began when dystonia (a neurological disorder) took over my body. Pain and fear, moving to someplace where I didn’t know anyone, totally dependent for everything—scared. Then out of the chaos of the evening came this male voice. ‘Oh no,’ I thought. ‘Not a male nurse. I can’t do anything for myself and now I have a male nurse!’

Very quickly, it became clear this was no ordinary nurse. Rick became my strength. He encouraged me to be patient with myself, but he gently pushed me when I was feeling completely lost and overwhelmed. He listened to me and went slowly with medications when I needed him to. He dressed my wounds with extraordinary gentleness. He gave me time. He listened to me talk about my fears. He not only cared for my body with respect and gentleness, but for my soul.

Six weeks into my rehab stay: trouble. There was Rick—efficient, calm, compassionate. Another ambulance ride, another emergency room, and then in the midst of lights and fear—a male voice—RICK! He had finished his shift at Spaulding. It was now after midnight and there he was, in the emergency room with me at the Brigham. Just checking to make sure I was OK. After weeks in the Brigham, I went back to Spaulding to complete my rehab. This time I went without fear. I knew Rick was there to lead my nursing team and my care. I left Spaulding in December. My rehab now continues at home, but Rick still calls to check on me. Even at a distance he continues to help heal my soul. Rick made me feel safe and special, but I know all his patients feel the same way. I’ve had many nurses care for me. Most of them have been wonderful, caring people. Rick is in a class of his own. He is truly an extraordinary nurse.

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—Nominated by Stacy Berloff

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