ST. LOUIS - This year, as we celebrate Mercy Day - the opening of the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827 - we also celebrate co-workers who exemplify Mercy values and mission.
“My golden rule: Care for my patients the way I would want others to care for a member of my family,” said Crystal Riesenberger, RN, Mercy Hospital St. Louis trauma surgery unit.
For Riesenberger, the decision to become a nurse was personal. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she saw how the nurses cared for her after surgery and during chemotherapy and radiation.
“The oncology nurses were a great inspiration, and to this day my mother still speaks highly of them,” Riesenberger said.
She wants to have that same impact on the patients she cares for today. To Riesenberger, patients aren’t just a room number, a disease or condition to be treated, but people.
Although Riesenberger admitted she is tone deaf, she has been known to sing to certain patients. “I do my best to get them to smile or laugh, even if it’s only for a minute or two, because in that moment they forget that they are in the hospital,” Riesenberger said.
Recently recognized on Mercy’s Facebook page, one of Riesenberger’s trauma surgery patients said in part: “Crystal actually somehow made it more enjoyable. I am not sure how with the excruciating pain I was experiencing. Crystal actually made me feel like I was being taken care of by a friend. Can you imagine your nurse being your best friend too? That was how amazing my stay was with Crystal on duty.”
Harris is one of many “Saints Among Us” at Mercy.