The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had a lot of negative press lately, and bad news seem to spread like wildfire. Stories about long wait times, corruption and rude and unsympathetic VA employees are commonplace. That’s why it is important when a story like this one comes along, it should be given the same coverage.
In November 2014, Nurse Chuck Maulden was working a shift in the Emergency Department of the Salisbury VA Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. A homeless Veteran came in, seeking treatment for large, painful blisters on his feet.
Maulden took the Veteran out of the waiting room into the examination area to triage his complaint. Maulden couldn’t help but notice that the Veteran was wearing dirty compression stockings that clung to the wounds.
A VA physician examined the Veteran and instructed Maulden to give him a fresh pair of compression stockings.
Maulden could have just handed the homeless man a new pair of socks and sent him on his way. But instead, this VA nurse went above and beyond to provide care for the Veteran.
Maulden washed the man’s feet with soap and water and then treated them with non-stick dressing so that the man would have a better chance of having his feet heal. Then Maulden obtained a few extra pairs of compression stockings for the Veteran to take with him.
Again, Maulden could have stopped there and sent the man on his way; after all, he had already gone above and beyond to care for this Veteran.
But as the man prepared to leave, Maulden saw that the Veteran’s shoes were worn out and in no shape to provide for proper protection. Maulden asked the Veteran what size shoes he wore. The man answered with the exact same size that Maulden wears. Without a word, Maulden took his shoes off and placed them on the Veteran’s feet. Maulden wore medical shoe covers over his socks for the remainder of his shift.
This story is not intended to suggest that every VA employee needs to give away their possessions to the Veterans that they treat. But with all of the negative publicity about the VA and its employees, Mr. Maulden’s tremendous act of humanity and attentiveness to a patient’s needs are at the core of the VA’s purpose and values.
We at MilitaryConnection.com applaud Mr. Maulden and his noble deed. Thank you and all of the employees at the VA for the work you do, for caring for our nation’s Veterans.
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Military Connection: VA Nurse’s Deed Disproves Media Stereotype: By Debbie Gregory