The DAISY Foundation continues to celebrate the tremendous skill and compassion of extraordinary nurses through its nationwide recognition program. The following are excerpts from DAISY Award recipients 2011 third-quarter nominations.
To view a full list of this quarters winners, visit http://daisyfoundation.org/daisy-award/daisy-nurses/Honorees-2011.
To nominate a nurse you know, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.Anne Naulty, RN
Anne Naulty, RN, BSN Neuroscience Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
Naulty was nominated for the DAISY Award by her coworkers on East 1 for the extraordinary care of a dying patient who had suffered a stroke. The patient had not been in contact with his family for 10 years and was prepared to die alone. He couldnt communicate well, and the doctors were not sure he was able to make an informed decision to be placed on hospice. There was no one to speak for him. Anne became his nurse and, because she cared, she spent time with him so he would not die alone. He was able to speak to her using one-word sentences. She learned that he had family in Albuquerque, N.M., and that he would love to see them before he died. Anne went to work searching for his family, even from her home computer. Finally, Anne located his daughter, who, with her husband, rode a train all night. When they arrived, the daughter said, Daddy, its me. Anne recalls the patients eyes got real big and he smiled. It was beautiful, and we all cried. The daughter sat with her dad, holding his hand for a long time. The next day, the patient was transferred to hospice with his daughter by his side. Annes coworker stated, We got word that the patient died two days later, but we all knew he did not die alone because of his daughter and a nurse who cared.
Mike Millar, RN, BSN SICU Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, Philadelphia
While taking care of a patient in the SICU, Mike discovered that the patients 92-year-old husband was unable to visit his wife. When Mike took the time to call and give him an update, he found out their caregiver had passed away the week before. In that spontaneous moment, Mike got directions to their home and offered to bring the husband to the hospital on Saturday, his day off. Mike drove to a suburb of Philadelphia, picked up the husband, brought him to his wife, and then took him back home after their visit. Mike actually did what many of us say we would like to do!
Latonia Manigo, RN, BSN Pediatric Oncology Palmetto Health Richland, Columbia, S.C.
In our clinic, we have several Spanish-speaking families that require the assistance of our hospital translation services. With many of these families, it is difficult to build relationships, as you always need a middle man. One family had a very young daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia. Latonia quickly became a favorite nurse for this child and family. She loved to play with the young girl while she was in for treatments and eventually started learning some Spanish (from the child and from the mother). Latonia developed a strong bond with this family and provided their nursing care whenever possible. Unfortunately, only a year into treatment, this young girl relapsed. She was sent to MUSC for transplant, which was unsuccessful. She was returned to our center for palliative care. Knowing the inevitable outcome, Latonia went out of her way to make sure every clinic experience was special for the child and her parents. Latonia often called the family at home to check on the child and to see if they needed anything. As it became evident that the child was not going to survive much longer, Latonia and other staff members at the clinic wanted to create some opportunities for special memories for this family. They organized a day for the child to see a private showing of a movie at Columbiana Grande. Neither the parents nor the child had ever been to a movie theater before. The staff at Columbiana Grande heard that our patient very much considered herself a princess, so they rolled out the red carpet and one of their staff members dressed in her own ball gown and greeted them at the door. They then allowed the child to play one of her own Spanish version Barbie DVDs in the theater! After the movie, a limousine drove the child and her parents to the zoo, where Latonia met them and they had behind-the-scenes access to the animals. No one in the family had ever been to a zoo. They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The parents have conveyed to us how special the day was for them and for their daughter. Only a few weeks later, the child lost her battle to leukemia. Knowing the inevitable outcome for this child, Latonia opened her heart to this family and looked for ways to create special memories for them. I am honored to have her on my team.
Janie Eason, RN AICU Franciscan St. Francis Health, Beech Grove, Ind.
Janie is not one of my nurses. She does not work with me or on my unit, but during a chance encounter with her, she really struck me as a genuine nurse who truly exemplifies our Franciscan values. I could tell when we met that her nursing care at St. Francis was truly a mission. I am the night shift PCC on the BMT, and I came in to work one day to do some things in my office. It was one of those days when a lot of drama was occurring on the unit. We did not have enough critical care nurses, we were shorthanded and one of our special patients was dying. (This special patient was a woman in her late 30s or early 40s with five children this is always the kind of patient that tugs on our heartstrings.) I went to look at assignments when I realized that a nurse who floated to us was caring for this patient. It wasnt that she couldn’t handle the care, but the emotion of caring for a patient and her family during such a tragic time seemed unfair to me. I looked at the assignments and decided the charge nurse had made the right decision. I knocked on the patients door and Janie was in the room giving the patient a post-mortem bath and getting her cleaned up for the family. I introduced myself and started to apologize when she thanked me. Yes, she thanked me. She said, Oh, thank you for allowing me to love on this patient and her family. That was not what I was expecting. She went on to say that she enjoyed spending the time with and praised the unit. She really made a difference! What a blessing to have Janie as a nurse at our hospital. Janie is a perfect example of our Franciscan values in Action!
Sue James, RN Oncology Winter Haven Hospital, Fla.
Mary was a 56-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer. Her prognosis was very poor. She was neutropenic due to her chemotherapy regime and was on reverse isolation due to a low WBC count. She had a large group of family and church friends that wanted to visit with her after church. So we put the group of family and friends in the day room and got Mary ready to visit with them. She informed her nurse, Sue James, that she was really tired and did not feel that she could visit for a long time but did not want to hurt her friends feelings. Sue helped Mary fix her hair and put on some makeup. She put Mary in a wheelchair, put a mask on her face, a crocheted blanket on her lap and found a matching bonnet for her head. Sue rolled her to the day room to visit with this large group of people. After about 20 minutes, Sue rolled her back to her room so her close family could continue to be with her at the bedside. Marys grandchildren came to visit and their mother washed the small childrens hands and placed masks on their faces to protect Mary from infections. Sue noticed the children about to go into the room with their masks and stopped them. Sue told their mother that the children could leave the masks off and encouraged them to have a party. Sue placed the children up in bed with their grandmother, which made Mary very happy. Sue then brought ice cream to the room, and the kids and their grandmother had an ice cream party in her hospital bed. Sue felt it was very important that Marys daughter got to see her children interact and be able to have fun one last time with her mother, Mary. Unfortunately, Mary died that night, but the family will always be able to look back on the ice cream party they had with Mary. Thanks to Sue.
Christine Spangler, RN MCH-MB Beaumont Hospital, Troy, Mich.
During the month of April, there was a long-term antepartum patient in the hospital. The patient was on bed rest for several weeks and away from her two and a half year-old daughter. On the night before Easter, Christine brought in an Easter basket with grass and some colorful plastic eggs that the mother could hide around the room when the girl visited. She was so happy to provide her little girl a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Dana Phelps, RN Telemetry/Medical Saint Agnes Medical Center, Fresno, Calif.
It was a day like any other day for Dana Phelps, taking care of patients. But in one of the rooms was a sweet, elderly patient, who was very confused and frightened. So much so that Dana found herself checking frequently on the woman so she wouldnt feel lonely. During one visit with her daughter, the patient asked for her tiara. When Dana asked what that meant, the daughter explained that her mom often wore a crown at home to make her feel at ease. Keeping this in mind, Dana went shopping that night and picked up a crown fit for a queen.
When I got to work the next day, Dana told me to go say hello to her patient, the nominator said. As I walked in, there she was with her hair combed nice, the tiara on her head and the biggest smile on her face. The daughter thanked Dana so much for taking that extra step to make her mom feel like she was at home. Standing there, I felt so privileged to work with great nurses like Dana!
Wendy McClellan, RN, BSN Hematology/Oncology Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, Mo.
Wendy is the coordinator for the late-effects clinic, Survive and Thrive. The purpose of this clinic is to follow up from post cancer treatment and maintain continuity of care regarding any side effects that may develop as a result of chemotherapy/radiation therapy. Wendy thought it would be great to sponsor a survivor event for the children who have completed cancer treatment as well as their families. She also thought it would be good for the children and families to have the opportunity to see the physicians who treated them. Wendy spent countless hours working with our community development department as well as reaching out to local businesses to assist in sponsoring the event. After months of work, the event took place July 9 outside Crown Center. The turnout was fantastic. About 300 patients and their families attended, as well as several physicians and nurses. Weaved in this group were clowns, face painters, a photo booth, an caricature artist, children doing Zumba, volunteers from Sam’s Club grilling donated hot dogs and a care assistant from 4H that wrote and performed a song for the survivors. While Wendy had some help, she pretty much organized this single-handedly. Wendy spent her time and energy doing something wonderful for these children, not because someone told her to, but because she wanted to.Susan Crow, RN
Susan Crow, RN Labor and Delivery Harrison Medical Center, Silverdale, Wash.
Susan has been an outstanding role model with her development of our HOPE (Harrison Offering Peaceful Endings) and MEND (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) programs. She saw a need for support for families dealing with loss and jumped in to form a program. Susan has made extraordinary connections with so many families and patients going through what is probably the most difficult situation they will ever have the death of a child. She spends countless hours fundraising, traveling to seminars and developing these programs with a passion that is unequaled. Words cannot adequately describe the miracles Susan has worked with these families; she helps provide them with cherished memories and keepsakes to help them through their most difficult moments. She has collaborated with our emergency and surgery departments when a miscarriage or loss has occurred, often coming in the middle of the night to obtain footprints and keepsakes for those families. She also maintains follow-up for years with cards and flowers on the anniversary of the loss. She holds monthly meetings with her support group as well. Susan is amazing. I would shout it from the rooftops if I could. Harrison is so lucky to have such an amazing nurse in our midst.Lynn Watson, RNC
Lynn Watson, RNC Surgical Unit Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.
We had a patient with an extensive psychiatric history. Unfortunately, the patient needed to be restrained in four-point restraints and was a Level 3 security risk. During his stay, the patient exhibited violent behavior toward staff and security and was restrained for more than 24 hours. However, on this particular day, he was clearly lucid and requested to be let out of restraints to use the bathroom. The security guard expressed his discomfort with the patients request based on the history of his behavior during this admission. Lynn spoke to the patient and planned his morning with him. She had discreetly arranged for extra security to be present. With three security guards at her side, Lynn spoke in a calm, yet firm voice with the patient. Lynn assisted him to the bathroom and provided him with toiletries. She did not convey any fear or reluctance to be close to the patient. The patient, clearly relieved to be free, thanked Lynn and asked her to stay in the room while he cleaned up. Lynn promised she would and set about tidying his space. When the patient emerged half-dressed, Lynn maintained the patients dignity by gently assisting him with his gown. The patient looked so relaxed and obviously felt cared for by Lynn. The security guard was relieved as well and visibly began to relax. The patient agreed to let Lynn give him his medications (which he was previously refusing) and he was able to be left without restraints for the remainder of the day. By that afternoon, the patient was chatting with the staff and smiling ear to ear. As she always does, Lynn took it all in stride and downplayed her role in the patients turnaround. The next day would bring new challenges and a setback for this patient and for the staff. However, we were all able to better cope with this patients illness because we now had the opportunity to really see him as a patient and human being who needed our help. This was all because of the great example Lynn set for us to follow.