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DAISY Spotlights: Meet the Recent RN Recipients

Thanks to The DAISY Foundation, nurses across the country are celebrated for their extraordinary patient care, spirit, and character. Each quarter, would like to recognize the nation’s DAISY recipients so the celebration of their accomplishments continues. A sample of these nurses’ nominations, or “spotlights,” will be featured on and The following are excerpts from DAISY Award recipients’ fourth-quarter nominations.

To view a full list of this year’s winners, visit

Elizabeth Martinez, RN

Elizabeth Martinez, RN
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

Martinez learned that she had become the latest DAISY Award recipient at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles early Oct. 8. A crowded office filled to the brim with her friends and co-workers tried to maintain a hushed silence as she turned the doorknob. Then, a rush of cheers and a surprised, happy DAISY nurse emerged through the door. Her nominator had these special things to say about her:

“About a month ago, a radiology patient’s mother left a voicemail about Liz. The message was nearly three minutes long. It started off a little rough; the appointment time was miscommunicated, the family arrived too early and had to wait what seemed like forever. The mom said that by the time she made it to the radiology nurses’ station, she thought she was going to lose it. But she didn’t. Why? A kind nurse smiled and said that she was sorry for the mix-up and asked what could she do to help the family. Liz’s smile and acknowledgement melted the mother’s frosty demeanor and diffused the anger instantly. The message went on to praise Liz for her patience, understanding and attentiveness. The parent stated that even on the drive home, in traffic, the good feeling Liz left the family with persisted. Liz had turned what was looking to be a family destined for a bad experience into a family so happy that LA traffic didn’t seem to faze them. Maybe ‘miracle worker’ should be added to the list of Liz’s attributes.”

Laura Hernandez, RN

Laura Hernandez, ARNP, MSN
Joint Clinical Educator for MCH/FIU
Miami Children’s Hospital

“Hernandez masters a special talent with families and patient’s with a chronic illnesses. She develops a bond that is unique. Aside from her very busy schedule, being a mother of three, wife, professor and nurse, she dedicates many hours in making sure that VACC Camp is a success every year for the many medically challenged children who come from so many far away places to enjoy this weeklong camp. She works throughout the year as well as during the week in camp to make sure that all medically challenged children are medically safe while enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience. She gets very involved with patient’s and families as well as volunteers in providing both medical support and guidance. She also assists nursing students in gaining their best medical experience while in camp. Many families and healthcare providers have expressed to us their gratitude for Hernandez. For us, it is a pleasure to nominate such a caring, unselfish individual who gives so much, asking nothing in return.”

Ruth Buettner, RN
Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru, Illinois

“Buettner received two nominations this quarter. One from a patient who was seven months’ pregnant and in OB for treatment of a kidney stone. The patient was given pain medication as ordered and had a reaction to the medication. Buettner sat with the patient, held her and comforted her until the reaction had subsided. The patient wrote ‘I swear she was sent straight from heaven.’ The other nomination Buettner received was from a physician. The physician wrote ‘Buettner handled a very difficult patient beautifully, compassionately, and professionally. She made the patient more at ease and comfortable.'”

Amanda Pasqualino, RN, BSN
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Pasqualino was nominated by a patient’s appreciative family:

“I believe Pasqualino represents everything a DAISY nurse should. She was my daughter’s favorite nurse two years ago and is again this year. I remember a day two years ago that my daughter had back pain from a procedure. We were taking turns giving her a ride in a wagon. As I waited, I saw Pasqualino walking with her around the corner. This was going above and beyond for me that day, and that is what Pasqualino always does. She not only cares for the patient with excellent care, but is also here for the family. She is about good nursing skills yet makes things fun for her kids. To me and my family — the perfect nurse.”

Natalie Lu, RN

Natalie Lu, RN
Float Team
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

“Lu finds ways to bring joy to patients and families dealing with difficult circumstances. Not only does she do this with compassion, but she makes the experience fun for the children at their developmental level.

One excellent example of the type of care she provides happened the evening she took care of a boy in respiratory distress. He was very anxious, irritable and did not want to wear an oxygen mask or nasal cannula. Lu explained to him, in age-appropriate language, why he needed to wear one of the two and then came up with a creative incentive for him. She promised him that he could squirt her with a “hospital squirt gun” if he successfully put on the nasal cannula, and again in the morning if he kept it on all night. Lu then got out a clean syringe and filled it with water. Her “hospital squirt gun” was not just any little syringe but the largest syringe we stock in the hospital. Her patient had been bawling, but when he saw the gigantic “hospital squirt gun” his tears quickly stopped. Soon he was laughing hysterically as he watched Lu jump around in circles as he soaked her from all angles. Not only did it change his attitude toward wearing a necessary medical device, but it put him at ease with the rest of the staff. The remainder of his stay at the hospital and the way he interacted with staff could be attributed to Lu’s resourcefulness.”

James Griffin, RN
Medical-Surgical, Wound-Ostomy
Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua, N.H.

“While Griffin had his own assignment on the floor (W4), he was aware of a patient that he felt needed a wound vac to improve his chances of healing. Griffin made several phone calls to applicable doctors requesting an order for a wound vac. He was very passionate about the need for this device and spent most of his day chasing down the appropriate people to get the job done. At no time did he sacrifice his assigned patients in order to get this accomplished. Although this individual is a wound nurse one day a week, this particular day he was not. He squeezed this extra responsibility into his day and made sure he saw it to the end. It is because of this RN that the patient got what he needed. The patient and family member were very grateful to have him advocating for them.”

Patricia Janes, RN

Patricia Janes, RNC, IBCLC
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.

Janes was nominated by a grateful patient:

“Janes provided me with incredible lactation support when I was admitted into the ER on July 7 — about a week after I was discharged from St. Peters for my c-section. I had severe pain and a lump by my c-section scar, and my doctor required me to go directly to the ER for a CAT scan. However, I had no idea how to manage the feeding of my infant daughter since I had been exclusively nursing her. I was very upset that my daughter had never had formula and I was not going to be able to nurse for over 24 hours due to the CAT scan dye. I left a voice mail with Janes, and she waited for me in the ER (after her shift was over) to make sure my husband and I could handle the transition to formula. She also made sure I would get a pump in the ER so I could continue my milk supply while in the hospital. She made sure we had formula and the right nipple for the baby, and she gave direction to my husband on how the baby should be fed while I was in the hospital. Janes really provide me with exceptional support and care. I was very comforted by her support and she made my experience in the ER much less upsetting. “

Darnella Anderson, RN
Med/Surg, Westchester Medical Center
Valhalla, N.Y.

Darnella was nominated by a grateful family member:

” … Rather than being angry at me for advocating for my brother (who was on a vent and unable to speak on his own behalf), Anderson listened to my many concerns and helped to make him comfortable, suctioned him and spent time positioning him. She took the time to explain the numbers and symbols on the vent. She was pleasant and smiled. She is fantastic, professional, kind and efficient.”

Carol Palmer, LPN
Liver Transplant Department
Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, La.

“Recently, Palmer was seeing her patients on the fifth-floor transplant clinic and her coworker was teaching a patient in another room. A dialysis patient came up to the clinic to verify an appointment time. He was coming from hemodialysis across the street from the main campus. As he stood at the reception desk his dialysis access began oozing blood very profusely. Palmer stopped everything she was doing in her very busy liver transplant clinic, quickly escorted the patient to a room and began holding pressure immediately. With her gentle and loving manner, she managed to calm the patient down and obtained the needed supplies with the help of the clinic staff to stop the bleeding and stabilized the patient. She would not leave his side until she was sure that he was safely bandaged and helped to arrange transport by another staff member to the ER for further evaluation and intervention. This is a regular day in the life of Carol Palmer.”

Linda Anaya, RN

Linda Anaya, LPN
City Hospital, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Linda was nominated by a grateful patient:

“For more than six years, Anaya has been a positive force in my recovery, my treatments and care. I could write a novel to all the kindness, care and compassion she has given. Always helpful, educating, and shows true professional care with a human touch. She is considerate to all needs and knows what to do in an emergency. A true loving person…”

Ashley Hildreth, RN
Beaufort (S.C.) Memorial Hospital

“Hildreth demonstrates compassionate care each and every shift she works. A 5-year-old boy came to the ED with his grandmother complaining of back pain. Something that was not new for this child, but because of his home situation, it went untreated. After a battery of tests in the ED, it was determined that the child had cancer with several large lesions in multiple locations. His prognosis was poor. Hildreth was the charge nurse and had become involved in this patient’s case. She was devastated by the news of this patient’s condition. At some point during his stay, the child mentioned he wanted a Nintendo DS. Hildreth knew his time was short and wanted him to have something special that would occupy his time and bring him joy during the rigorous treatments he would soon encounter. She clocked out and went shopping for a Nintendo DS on her own accord and money. She was unable to find one in stores so she called her sister who she knew had one. She arranged with her sister for the Nintendo and several games. As you can imagine, the child was very excited and happy to receive such a gift. Hildreth made a difference. She does not talk of the incident, has not asked for recognition and does not wish to be reimbursed for her expenses. This was something she did because she knows the true meaning of being a nurse.”

Amanda Chambers, RN

Amanda Chambers, RN
Ortho/Neuro, St. Vincent’s Health System
Birmingham, Ala.

Chambers was nominated by four patients or their family members:

“Cambers did an outstanding job. She has a wonderful spirit about her. She was there always taking care of my mom and making sure she was OK.”

“She always has a smile when she comes in his room. She is patient and always jolly. He calls for her night and day. If every nurse was as friendly and caring as Amanda, things and patients would be more pleasant!”

“Chambers is an employee who shines regardless of the surrounding circumstances. She truly loves nursing and people. She represents St. Vincent’s in the most honorable ways — she does what she says THEN and not later; she is most efficient, knowledgeable, confident, reassuring and prompt! Amanda is a happy and joyous person. She makes a person feel better just by walking in the room.”

“Chambers is the best of the best. She is excited to be a nurse demonstrating the utmost care and efficiency. She is knowledgeable and loves people. You know if she is your nurse you are always being taken care of! St. Vincent’s should be proud to have her as an employee. You need to hang on to this lady!”

Timothy Connolly, RN
CCU, Baptist Health Medical Center
Little Rock, Ark.

“Like many families in our situation, we were anxious and stressed as our family member, Tom, was sent to the SICU following surgery for removal of his meningioma. Connolly greeted us with a calm tone in his voice, and a smile … indicating warmth and personal attention in a high-tech area. His knowledgeable response to our questions gave us comfort to go home — knowing Tom was in good hands.”

Carla Porterfield, RN
Pediatric Special Care Unit
Backus Children’s Hospital, Savannah, Ga.

“Porterfield takes care of the whole family when caring for a child in PSCU. She follows the model of family nursing and also takes care of all needs — physical, mental, and spiritual. She is a role model for palliative care — meeting all needs.”

By | 2020-04-15T14:40:55-04:00 February 2nd, 2010|Categories: National|0 Comments

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