“I needed an angel that night to listen, care, and just be there watching over. I had one sit with me through one of the toughest nights of my life.”
The above words are from a VCU Health Pauley Heart Center patient, in her nomination of Grace Phelps, BS, RN, of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Progressive Care unit, for a DAISY Award. The patient had been in the hospital for many weeks—much longer than expected—and felt at wit’s end. “Grace went well beyond the call of duty,” wrote the patient. “She went out of her way to come visit and talk to me, even when she wasn’t my assigned nurse.”
Recognizing such extraordinary nurses as Phelps is one of the goals of the DAISY Foundation, a nonprofit set up in Seattle in 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, a patient who died of complications of the autoimmune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) at the age of 33. (DAISY is an acronym for these types of diseases.) During his eight-week hospitalization, his family was “awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided” and decided to find a way to honor nurses everywhere.
VCU Health System, one of more than 2,000 healthcare facilities that participate in the DAISY Awards, selects one nurse each month for the award. The nurses are chosen from throughout the medical center, following a review of nomination forms filled out by patients or their families. Phelps was one of five Pauley nurses selected in 2015 for the honor.
“Approximately 100 nurses at VCU Medical Center are nominated each month for this award. A team of peers review all of the nominations and select one deserving nurse to recognize. We are thrilled to have so many of our Pauley Heart Center nurses recognized with this honor,” says Deborah Zimmermann, DNP, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services, VCU Health System.
Honorees are recognized in a ceremony and receive a DAISY pin and certificate, along with a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” Additionally, the foundation provides cinnamon rolls—a favorite of Barnes during his illness—to the nurse’s entire unit.
The Pauley Center congratulates
Grace Phelps, along with Jacob Fogner, RN, of the Cardiac ICU who received DAISY awards in 2015, and Thomas Hunt, RN, of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Progressive Care unit who received the award in April 2016.
For more information, please visit daisyfoundation.org.
DAISY WINNERS AND NOMINEES INCLUDE (L TO R): ROSMOND O’BERRY, BS RN, PCCN; THOMAS HUNT, RN; KATHRYN COOK, RN, BSN, CCRN; AMY COLEMAN, RN; AND GRACE PHELPS, BS, RN.