Readers Respond

Nurses deserve our thanks and better pay | READER COMMENTARY

The main entrance to University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. File. (Steve Ruark/Baltimore Sun Media).

I recently read Peter Jensen’s column in The Baltimore Sun, “It shouldn’t require brain surgery to see nurses are underpaid” (Feb. 28), concerning his experience with the nursing staff who attended to his wife after major surgery. My wife recently had to undergo emergency open heart surgery at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson after which she spent eight days in the Cardiac Intensive Care and ICU Step-Down units.

While she had an exceptionally talented surgeon, I have never interacted with such an experienced and caring staff during any hospital stay as either a patient or a visitor. From surgical check-in through discharge, all the individuals we encountered at St. Joseph were some of the most experienced and caring people I have ever met. Whether it was the receptionist in the Berman Heart Institute surgery suite, who rushed out to ask me how my wife was doing each day as I passed by on my way to her ICU room, or the ICU custodial staff, who always asked if there was anything she needed in her room, they were all exceptional, compassionate people.


But I have to give special thanks to one group: her nurses. From the moment my wife arrived in her ICU room after surgery, I watched a team of nursing professionals attend to her constantly and compassionately. I was present during shift changes where I was fortunate to hear the extraordinary detail conveyed to the incoming nurses. When I left her room at the end of the second day, I knew my wife couldn’t be in better hands during this difficult time.

I was particularly thankful for not only how the nurses cared for my wife, but also how they cared about me. They always updated me when I arrived each morning and took the time to answer all the questions my wife and I had. No short answers or being in a hurry to get to another patient.


I agree with Peter Jensen that you can’t pay nursing professionals enough for the work they do. As for St Joseph, it’s an exceptional medical facility that is invaluable to our community. In our current times where “customer service” seems to be lacking everywhere, their professionals took the time to make a difficult experience bearable.

To the nurses: Saying thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough. I wish my wife and I could remember all your names so we could personally thank each of you. You are all a credit to your profession, and I’m sure you are one of the primary reasons for St. Joseph’s excellent reputation and success.

— Ken Kinsey, Pikesville

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.