Intermediate Surgical Care, Tower 15AB

Brian Monahan

When a patient arrived on Tower 15 after surgery, the “friendly manner, confidence and caring attitude” of her nurse, Brian Monahan, BSN, RN, immediately caught her attention. But what truly surprised her happened after Monahan completed his nursing assessment. “In an unexpected yet profound gesture of humanity, he pulled up a chair and sat with me for what felt like an hour. His focus was on me, and I felt like his most important patient – no, his only patient,” she said.

Monahan is known for treating all of his patients this way, giving them his undivided attention and helping them to understand their plan of care and what to expect as they recover from surgery.  “Brian makes every patient feel special and epitomizes relationship-based care,” said Nursing Director Jan McGrath, MS, RN, in a letter of support. 

One patient on the unit had difficulty establishing rapport with anyone but Monahan. She recognized his clinical expertise and compassion and felt comfortable with him. On days when he was not working and she was anxious, Monahan offered to speak with her by phone to reassure her. He volunteered to accompany her to a test on a day when he was not assigned because the patient previously had difficulty with it and could not eat solid foods until completing the test. 

“His patients are always ‘his,’ whether he is working or at home, and
he goes the extra mile to make sure their goals are met,” said Professional Development Manager Elizabeth Cirelli, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, who nominated Monahan. “Brian’s patients feel safe and cared for under his watch.”

As Monahan says, “One of the most critical moments of a nurse-patient relationship occurs when greeting the patient and their family. This moment often sets the tone for the relationship. It is when you begin to develop trust, and it leads to establishing a rapport with the patient by demonstrating and practicing with an authentic presence.”

Monahan, who has practiced on Tower 15AB for six years, is also known for his inquisitive nature and willingness to help his colleagues. “Brian is the first to research information, offer assistance to a colleague and volunteer for a unit project,” said McGrath. “His easy-going personality draws people to him.”

Monahan earned his BSN from Quinnipiac University and is pursuing his advanced practice degree.