Inspiring Stories

Nurse Puts Cheerleading Skills to Use to Lift Spirits and Lower Blood Pressure

Given a choice, most people wouldn’t spend any length of time in a hospital. But it’s become the norm for one patient suffering from Crohn’s disease. The patient – who didn’t wish to share her name – has spent nearly 100 days at Methodist Hospital in less than three years.

A life-changing stay

The patient described one of her most recent stays as “life-changing,” and it’s all thanks to Kim Pojar, BSN, RN, from the Methodist Hospital General Surgery/Medical Unit on 8 South.

“From the first moment she came in my room, I knew I was in good care,” the patient wrote in a letter. “She went way beyond the usual duties of a nurse. She took charge and helped me with anything I needed. Her smile and positive attitude were the best medicine ever.”

Kim didn’t need a name to know which patient wrote the letter. She knew as soon as she read it.

“She was someone I connected with right away,” Kim said.

Providing care and cheer

In one part of the letter, the patient described Kim transforming into a literal cheerleader to help raise her low blood pressure.

“My blood pressure would drop at night really low. She would come in, and we would start cheerleading to get my pressure up. By the time we were done, she had me laughing so hard I was crying. What a hoot!”

“We did!” Kim exclaimed. “I’d say, ‘Oh, your blood pressure is getting kind of low, should we do it? Should we get up?’ So, yeah, it was fun – kind of an inside joke."

Kim went above and beyond again when it came time for the patient to be discharged. It was a Sunday evening, and it was getting dark, the patient wrote. The person she had arranged to pick her up from the hospital cannot see at night. She reported feeling exhausted and worried about getting home. That’s when Kim called a cab driver, who got the patient home and unloaded all her belongings.

“She had me out of the hospital in five minutes,” the patient added.

“Our patients choose Methodist for a reason”

Kim was honored as December’s DAISY Award winner for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital.

“I’m so grateful to have met her,” the patient wrote. “I will never forget her outstanding care.”

When asked about her approach to providing such care, Kim said: “It’s about giving individualized care to everybody. It means connecting. It means educating. Our patients choose Methodist for a reason. I don’t take that lightly.”

About the Author

Jessica Gill, the External Communications Manager for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

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