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 2012 first-quarter nominations.
To view a full list of this quarters winners, visit http://daisyfoundation.org/daisy-award/daisy-nurses/Honorees-2012.
To nominate a nurse you know, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.
Eva Heldt, RN Cardiology Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Recently, Eva admitted an elderly gentleman who, the day before, had lost his wife of more than 50 years. While Eva was getting him admitted to the unit, his dinner tray was delivered. He told Eva that would be the first time in more than 50 years he would be eating alone. Eva replied, Well, tonight isnt going to be the first night. She excused herself from the room and went and grabbed a snack and went back into the room. She sat down with the patient and had her snack while he ate his dinner.
Joe Jo Jo Long Jr., RN ED Winter Haven (Fla.) HospitalJoe Long Jr., RN
On Dec. 4, 2011, a patient from a nursing home was brought to the ED by EMS for changes in mental status. We were extremely busy, but Jo Jo focused on this patient to see what he could do to expedite her care. He overheard the physician and the nurse obtaining an evaluation on the patient. They were about to begin a full workup on her to see what was causing her change in status. Jo Jo wondered if the patient might have a hearing problem and questioned if this was related to her change in status. Jo Jo not only assessed the patient, but he started looking for hearing aid batteries in the department. When he could not find them, he took the time to go to Walgreens and buy a replacement battery for hearing aids. It worked; the patient was able to hear great and had no other complaints. Jo Jo didnt just help this patient; he offered his own time and money, which saved this patient an extensive workup. We are happy to have Jo Jo as a charge nurse.
Norma Spryszak, RN Oncology/Hospice Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Mich.
Norma can assure solid scheduling to provide coverage for her patients. She can monitor staff training to make sure everyone is up to date with the latest procedures. She can complete all her evaluations and present them in a way that encourages and builds a strong team. She can watch her units budget, round on every patient and enthusiastically promote the Adopt-A-Family initiative that will make a difference in the lives of others. And today, she can hold a 2-year-old on her lap for more an hour. This child’s mother just died in the room down the hall. Snuggled close like her own boys did once upon a time, the little girl doesnt keep Norma from documenting on the computer or providing information to her nurses. She has no idea what happened down the hall. She just knows the comfort of the arms of the nice lady in blue who knows her priorities. Norma is a nurse manager who lives her calling, healing one broken heart at a time. Those who work with her are very proud of her. What a gift Beaumont Troy has in Norma.
Najawa Harris, RN Telemetry SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, Mo.Najawa Harris, RN
Najawa cared for a patient whom many had written off as being a drug addict and noncompliant. The patient, during admission, was diagnosed with throat cancer and failed a swallow evaluation. She was quickly scheduled for a trach and PEG. Najawa not only supported this patient during the diagnosis by the physician, but through the rest of her hospital stay in the ICU and 2N. The patient called the unit every day after being able to speak again, and continues to call to talk to Najawa postdischarge on a daily basis. Najawa visited this patient during her work shifts and has continued to provide the type of compassionate nursing care that goes beyond passing medications.
Walter Edwards, RN Pediatric Med/Surg/Telemetry Unit 8C Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va.
Walter was nominated by the mother of one of his patients who was extremely impressed with Walters superior bedside manner and with the special care given to her daughter. Her daughter has had 12 surgeries at CHKD, so she was familiar with the hallmarks of a great nurse. It was the little things that set Walter apart from his peers: offering the patient emotional support for an upcoming procedure, answering her questions, being attentive to the childs needs with frequent checks on her status. The mother assumed these characteristics were the result of years of clinical experience and was shocked to learn that Walter had been a cable installer for the past 25 years and had been a nurse for less than one year. The mother told us that their discussion about Walters decision to change his career path and his encouraging words, Youre never too old to learn and If I can do it, you can do it, inspired her to return to school. The mother met with a counselor the following week and is now enrolled in a medical office assistant program. In the mothers own words: Some people touch you in a way that will change your life forever. Walter has done this for me.
Omar Gabriel, RN-BC, CNRN, ACVN Med Surg/Ortho Kingman (Ariz.) Regional Medical CenterOmar Gabriel, RN-BC
Omar came in to work on Dec. 23 his day off to insert a PICC line. As the Resource RN, I received a call from a nurse who had a patient who could not be discharged until she had a PICC line for continuing IV antibiotics. This patient had an 11-month-old child and wanted to be at home for Christmas. Radiology was notified and told the nurse that they would do it on Monday (the day after Christmas). I called Omar (who was Christmas shopping with his family out of town). Omar came in during the early evening after he returned to town and inserted the PICC line. The patient was able to go home that evening. If not for Omars compassionate gift, the patient would have not been able to be home with her child for Christmas.
Randy Rowland, RN Neurosciences Harborview Medical Center in Seattle
For the past 66 days, we have had a blind, deaf, mute, brain-injured patient on 3West. He came from a SNF where, for the previous six months, he had no interpreter communication. We recruited a group of nurses who we thought would work best with this challenging patient. Randy was one of our go-to nurses, as he often is for our most challenging patients. Working with the interpreters, he assessed the needs that would give this patient the best opportunity for independence and to diminish his frustration. They created a care plan that articulated the specifics of how to organize the patients care. The room was emptied of all potentially harmful items. The doors were padded. A strategy for getting out of bed consistently on the same side to go to the bathroom was established. Many other staff contributed significantly to working with this patient. But what so impressed me about Randy was that he didnt spend a minute being overwhelmed by the challenge. He just went about assessing the needs of this patient and attempting to meet them. I learn something positive about nursing care every time I work with Randy.
Kelly Harmon, RN, BSN, OCN Oncology Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in PhiladelphiaKelly Harmon, RN
Anne Delengowksi, RN, MSN, AOCN, the units clinical nurse specialist nominated Kelly. Here is an excerpt from her nomination letter: One of our leukemia patients was from Puerto Rico. This young woman had two young children back at home whom she did not often see. Her wish was to be able to spend Thanksgiving with them. Kelly sought out the help of her peers to be able to grant this wish. She collected more than $1,000 in a week to allow the husband to purchase the airline tickets to bring the children to the U.S. You can just imagine the moment we told them, and the happiness of all when the family was reunited!
Sheryl Brady, RN ED Care Unit 4 Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sheryl is one of the first nurses to be employed in the new model of care for behavioral health patients in the ED. Sheryl came with an arsenal of psychiatric experience, but this was not an inpatient psych unit. Sheryl has been able to incorporate the need for quick assessments and rapid turnover with careful observation and thoughtful interactions with patients in crisis. She has become a wonderful preceptor for new staff because she gets it. I recently received a letter from a patient who had been in Sheryls care. This young woman was a heroin addict who had been clean for a period of time but had relapsed. She commented that she had been at the facility often, but that this was the first time she felt as though she had been treated like a human being and not a junkie. She thanked not only Sheryl but also the entire unit for the care she received. She also went on to say that she had made a stupid mistake and was committed to not making it again. It is because of people like Sheryl that our patients can make the choice to get better.
Walter Edwards, RN Pediatric Medical/ Surgical/ Telemetry Unit 8C Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va.
Walter was nominated by the mother of one of his patients who was extremely impressed with Walters superior bedside manner and with the special care given to her daughter. Her daughter has had 12 surgeries at CHKD, so she was familiar with the hallmarks of a great nurse. It was the little things that set Walter apart from his peers: offering the patient emotional support for an upcoming procedure, answering her questions, being attentive to her childs needs with frequent checks on her status. The mother assumed these characteristics were the result of years of clinical experience and was shocked to learn that Walter had been a cable installer for the past 25 years and had been a nurse for less than one year. The mother told us that their discussion about Walters decision to change his career path and his encouraging words, Youre never too old to learn and If I can do it, you can do it, inspired her to return to school. The mother met with a counselor the following week and is now enrolled in a Medical Office Assistant program. In the mothers own words: Some people touch you in a way that will change your life forever. Walter has done this for me.