Capital Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Becky Means, RNC, BSN, MBA (left) stands with the three third quarter 2019 DAISY Foundation award recipients Raven, Breez and Kara.

Capital Medical Center on Tuesday awarded its third quarter 2019 DAISY Foundation Award to two Medical-Surgical department nurses and an Infection Prevention nurse leader.

Nine nurses were nominated for the prestigious international nursing award. The two who received unanimous votes from the committee included Breez S. and Raven R.

With fellow nominees, Capital leaders and nominators looking on, Breez and Raven received the honor from Chief Nursing Officer Becky Means, RNC, BSN, MBA.

“All of our nominees are wonderful nurses who show our mission, vision and values every day,” Means said. “We thank and congratulate them and look forward to them receiving the ‘multiple-nomination’ pin in the future. Congratulations to Breez and Raven for being selected through outstanding nominations that demonstrated their true compassion and nursing excellence.”

For Breez, the award is her second in as many quarters. Breez has been a nurse at Capital Medical Center since August 2018. Med-Surg Director Deb Lechner, RN, MGA, says Breez’s natural personality with all whom she comes in contact leaves a sincere impression.

Text from her nominator:

“My 90-year-old mother was admitted to the hospital recently with a broken hip. This is the type of injury that we have been terrified of since my mother came to live with us seven years ago. It was devastating and we were so afraid that it would be the type of injury we had heard and read about where people – especially my mom’s age – may never recover.

“The doctor in the ER admitted my mom in order to seek care from the Orthopedic surgeon. The hope was she would be an able candidate at 90 to have hip surgery; she was scheduled for surgery.

“We found ourselves on the hospital floor worried, extremely tired and trying to be strong for my mom’s sake. During this incredibly difficult ordeal, we met what our family fondly refers to now as our ‘Guardian Angel’ – Breez. To my family, her name says everything about her (she is a wonderful breeze that brings amazing relief)!

“I immediately noticed how friendly and thorough this RN was in gathering the necessary information. Breez has a very calming and soothing demeanor that instantly put me at ease and made me feel more confident in the tasks I was about to encounter in my mother’s healthcare. This quality is truly a gift that she has together with her skill as a trained professional.

“We had been in the ER most of the evening into the night when we were admitted. I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what was going to transpire. Breez immediately looked at me and read all of these feelings and began to not only get my mother set up in her room but also reached out to comfort me as well. She asked if I needed anything and brought me some water. Breez intuitively knew this was just what I needed at that moment.

“As the night went on, I had a lot of anxiety about my mother’s condition. Every time Breez came into the room, she listened to every concern I had and immediately set about remedying every concern. She explained exactly why and what machines indicated about my mother’s blood pressure, oxygen, etc. What a relief to know how to interpret the data. All through the night this Breez worked to keep my mother comfortable and kindly reassured me that things were going well. Although I know Breez had many patients to care for that night, she gave us this type of individualized care! Breez treated us like family in this manner every day until we were discharged after my mother’s surgery.

“Breez helped our family through the most difficult and anxious nights of our lives. I have read that when an injury like this occurs with an elderly person such as my mom, the fist 24-48 hours emergency care is critical. I attribute the success my mother had to Breez and HER absolutely ‘Guardian Angel’ professionalism and care. Thank you, Breez – there are no words than can express our gratitude!”

Raven has been a nurse at Capital since this past January.

Text from Raven’s nomination includes:

“Well, one week ago tomorrow I had a green-light laser surgery on my prostate. As a Bahai, we believe ‘only the spirit is real.’ The DAISY award seems to be founded by the spirit of a loved one. Therefore, my story:

“I went from one floor to the next floor. From the moment I met Raven, I felt the Roy Rogers saying: ‘May the good Lord take a liking to you.’ I really can’t recount all the duties and responsibilities she performed. No doubt Raven was highly trained and very professional. What struck me most was Raven’s loving kindness. She instantly put me at ease, was an active listener and made me feel special. Raven knew I wanted to go home.

My entire 27-hour stay was focused on that goal. Of course there was the mundane part that Raven handled very professionally – such as flushing out my bladder and checking for blood clots. There were sensitive topics such as emptying urine, bowel movement and more … these were elevated events that were part of normalcy.

Raven and I became friends which led us to an elevated status. Common threads in our families. Comments such as ‘Oh, your feet are like mine’ or ‘the scar on your hand remind me of my spouse’s scar.’ All these impressions crossed my mind as this RN wheeled my out to say goodbye.

Then she said something I already knew: ‘I love my job.’”

As part of the event, Capital recognized its first-ever DAISY Nurse Leader award; Kara D., Infection Prevention RN, was recognized through the merits of her nomination provided by a colleague:

“The bedside nurse, caring for the patient, is often the person we think of most when considering a recipient of the DAISY Award.

“However, there are nurses within the organization who perform non-traditional roles, possess valuable skills and knowledge, and perform highly detailed tasks that lead to high quality and safe care.

“I am nominating Kara, Infection Prevention Director, for the DAISY Award.

“The role of the Infection Prevention nurse touches every department within the organization. Kara is one of the first people you meet when you apply for and receive an offer of employment. She interacts with all new employees in her role as Employee Health and often counsels new employees to assist them with completing their required paperwork.

“Kara is a voice of reason, again in Employee Health, when an employee has been exposed. She provides strong and knowledgeable counsel and calms the fears of employees as they wait for test results. She touches base with staff often and relays information in a timely fashion.

“New employees are energized and have fun when Kara presents information about Infection Prevention during orientation. It’s not every person who can make blood borne pathogens and C-Diff entertaining, but her approach as a teacher makes learning fun!

“Kara is available to all staff as a resource and educator. You can find Kara rounding in the clinics, nursing units, OR, Central Sterile, outpatient areas, registration, housekeeping, engineering, etc. The role of Infection Prevention cannot be underscored enough as prevention of infection is paramount to safe, quality care. I have never seen Kara shy away from an important conversation or dismiss an employee, physician, patient or family member who stopped to ask a question.

“Ultimately, the work that Kara does directly affects the patients, families, visitors, and staff of the hospital.

“Beyond the practical applications associated with her role, I want to point out the qualities that Kara possesses with regard to leadership as an example to others within the organization. Kara possesses the gift of professional conversation, treats all employees with respect, and is quick to point out the importance of the work we do and praises staff for its ability to perform at its best! She is a leader who models leadership.

“Kara is a professional, caring, and knowledgeable nurse with the gift of the ability to inspire others. It is my proud honor to work with her and strongly recommend her for the DAISY Nurse Leadership Award.”

As DAISY Award recipients, Breez, Raven and Kara received a certificate, DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch”.

The Capital DAISY Award selection committee votes “blindly” in being provided copies of completed nomination forms with the names redacted. All nominees are invited to attend the presentation event, but the name of the DAISY Award winner is kept secret until presentation time.

The DAISY Award is given in remembrance of Patrick Barnes, who passed away at age 33 in 1999 from an auto-immune disease. His family wanted him to be remembered and they chose to honor the nurses that took care of their loved one.

The award is made in partnership with the national DAISY Foundation, American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and Capital Medical Center. The award is given to outstanding nurses in more than 3,000 health-care facilities in all 50 states and 18 countries.

A cake and cinnamon rolls were enjoyed at the event conclusion; because cinnamon rolls were Barnes’ favorite during his illness, each award is celebrated with cinnamon rolls – shared among one and all to reflect that nursing requires a team effort.

For additional information on the DAISY Foundation Award, including the form to use to nominate a Capital nurse for the award, visit http://bit.ly/2RruD0v.