Betsy Harris, RN, a staff nurse in the Trauma Surgical Care Unit (TSCU), was recently named the September DAISY Award Recipient for McLeod Regional Medical Center. Harris was nominated by a patient’s sister for her extraordinary care and compassion.
To recognize those Nurses at McLeod Regional Medical Center who are true examples of Nursing Excellence, patients, family members and co-workers may nominate nurses for the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
The patient’s sister wrote, “I received the call at 3 a.m. that my brother had been in a car accident and suffered a traumatic head injury. Abruptly woken from my sleep, for a moment I thought I was having a nightmare. I was told that he was taken to McLeod and that I needed to come home because things didn’t look good. I live in Arlington, Texas.
“By 5 p.m. that day, I was at the airport boarding a plane with my children to South Carolina. My husband stayed behind to finish taking care of things at home and then drive to be with us. I can’t tell you the state of mind that I was in – having to be strong for my kids, my husband not being with me, and my worst fears unfolding before me as I considered the scenarios for my brother.
“When I got to McLeod, you can only imagine the swing of emotions my family and I experienced. We were a mess. We were angry, scared, and facing the unknown that we could barely wrap our heads around. Then, I met Betsy.
“What stood out the most about Betsy was that every time she came into the room, she addressed my brother, not just my family. It was evident that he was the center of her care. While he was heavily sedated and probably didn’t know what was going on, she would enter the room and say, ‘Hey Wesley, it’s Betsy.’
“She continued to talk to him, tell him what she was going to do before she did it and explained things to him and then directed things to us. She encouraged him. Even when things were very grim, she cared for him just like he was sitting there listening and able to answer her. While he could not communicate, she never treated him as if he couldn’t. Most importantly, she didn’t give up on him. No matter the state, my brother was still her patient and she gave all of herself to his care.
“My brother is out of the hospital and has gotten a good bit of his memory back, but he doesn’t remember what happened in the TSCU. I have encouraged him to go back and meet Betsy and the nurses that cared for him. It is my hope that he will because I feel like it could help him in the healing process.
“Please recognize this nurse with such compassion, a strong work ethic, and calling for her profession. She selflessly cared for my brother and treated us as if we were her own family.”
About the DAISY Nursing Award
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique way of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses may be nominated for their strong clinical skills and the compassionate care they provide. Nomination forms are available on each nursing unit at McLeod Regional Medical Center or can be found at www.McLeodNursing.org.
Recipients of the DAISY Award are chosen by the DAISY committee, led by nurses at McLeod Regional Medical Center. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors. Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree is also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.