Skip to main content

Nursing assistant brightens patients’ lives

| Everyday Moments

Close-up of two sets of hands, one painting the nails of the other

Caregiver has a gift for touching hearts in deep, meaningful ways

“Rose Tinney (pictured) is perhaps one of the finest medicines in our hospital,” according to Andrea Zikakis, a chaplain at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham,

Portrait of Rose Tinney

Washington. Here’s an account—in Zikakis’s own words—of this certified nursing assistant’s special way with people at PeaceHealth St. Joseph:

There have been innumerable times when I have been in a patient's room and Rose walks in. I can almost predict her presence before I see her simply by the look of delight on the patient's face - they light up.

One day I was with a patient and the glass door slid open. Rather than turning to see who was there, I simply watched the patient's face brighten—eyes sparkling, mouth smiling and arms outstretched.

The patient immediately dropped our conversation. She told Rose how much she had missed her and then asked for a hug. The patient then told me about the time that Rose came in on her day off to paint her fingernails.

She had been quite fatigued and didn't have a lot of energy that day. Rose had noticed on a previous shift that the patient's toes had been painted but her fingernails were—in Rose's words—"lonely."

So Rose brought in some sparkly nail polish to remind the patient of the patient's true nature and proceeded to give her a full manicure. The patient's eyes were shining with love and appreciation.

In and of itself, this story is worth telling, but honestly, this is just one of many stories that I've seen and heard about Rose.

I have watched her touch hearts in such deep ways. She provides great care and joy in the midst of difficult times. She is organized with her work so that she can be attentive with patients. I have seen her be goofy to bring laughter to people, serious in the midst of sadness, tender with hugs and always, always professional and extraordinary.

Rose is a precious, priceless gem.