On her day off from work, Esther Jaime brought a small group of young adults to Sunset Lake Camp for a church planting boot camp.
Midway through the training, Jaime slipped out of the room to watch a virtual awards ceremony.
As an acute care nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, she had been nominated as a finalist for the Washington State Heroes in Action Awards as sponsored by Multicare and March of Dimes. The Heroes in Action Awards honor outstanding nurses and providers across Washington state for making a difference in the lives of their patients, colleagues and communities through their leadership, care and compassion.
“I’ve been a nurse for 25 years,” said Jaime. “This year has been the hardest of my entire career, not only because of COVID, but also because I lost my dad to this devastating pandemic.”
“As a nurse you wipe your tears and move on to encourage others, to pray with others and to give hope,” Jaime shared. “You hold off your overwhelming emotions, you take a second to compose yourself, and smile, assuring them that you will do anything and everything to help them survive.”
Once, a patient pleaded with her: “Please promise me I will not die.” With compassion and empathy in her heart, Jaime made a different promise: “I promise I will be by your side fighting this as hard as we can.”
Jaime and her acute care team at Multicare’s Good Samaritan Hospital have fought as hard as they could against many odds.
There are three ways Jaime manages the stress of pandemic nursing. She shares daily Bible verses with her church family in the Tacoma/Lakewood Hispanic district, where her husband, Arturo Jeronimo, pastors. She actively looks for ways to encourage women and young adults around her. Jaime also manages stress by hiking to epic Pacific Northwest locations. She packs a beautiful dress to wear at the destination where a family member or friend takes her picture. Hiking reminds Jaime of the beauty in the journey. It gives her perspective and encourages her to keep moving forward.
“Nursing takes special people,” Jaime said. “I believe that I’m merely representing the many heroes of my unit, because I couldn’t be a hero without them.”