On September 25th, Emily Heitkamp, BSN, RN, received the Daisy Award for Hunterdon Health. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the clinical skill and the compassion nurses provide to patients and families every day.
A patient’s family wrote, “My dad arrived at the hospital on a Friday and passed away two days later on Sunday. The entire experience of the few days he was at HMC was a whirlwind of fear, sadness, and every emotion you can think of for our family. The one constant shining star throughout our experience was his night nurse, Emily. She always came into the room with a gentle smile filled with compassion and knowledge to not only care for my Dad but also help ease the questions and fear we had and, especially my Mom, knowing these were my father’s last days. Most importantly, the morning my Dad passed away she was right there by his side, along with my Mom, caring for him with such gentleness. Those next few hours, even though her shift was over and she probably wanted to get home, she stayed. She cleaned my father up so he could lie there peacefully as we all said our final goodbyes one last time. This may seem like just ordinary nursing care to people in the medical field but, to a grieving family, this has stuck with us and we still speak of Emily lovingly to this day.”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, 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 means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patients' families.
Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation said, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do. The kind of work the nurses throughout Hunterdon Health are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses has been adopted by 3,500 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 21 other countries, committed to honoring their nurses for their extraordinary care and compassion. Individual nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues and they are chosen by a Hunterdon Health committee.
“We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program. Nurses are heroes every day. It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that,” explained Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services, Mary Jo Loughlin, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Hunterdon Health.
DAISY Award recipients are presented with a certificate, a DAISY Award pin, a beautiful hand-carved serpentine stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, and a spotlight page on The DAISY Foundation website, featuring a photo and telling the story of why this nurse was honored.
At each award presentation, all the nurses and staff in the recipient’s unit are treated to cinnamon rolls. The reason? Once, Patrick ate his father’s cinnamon roll when he was in the hospital without an appetite for food. He then requested one for the next day – and enough for all the nurses in the unit.
To nominate a nurse who works for Hunterdon Health or to learn more, visit https://www.hunterdonhealth.org/services/careers/nursing-careers/daisy-award.
Pictured: On September 25th, Emily Heitkamp, BSN, RN, received the DAISY award for Hunterdon Health.
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