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OCH Nurse Who Cared for COVID Patients Selected for DAISY Award

Tamara Bell, RN, DAISY Award Recipient

OCH Regional Medical Center celebrated National Nurses Day on Wednesday and recognized one of the hospital’s nurses with the National DAISY Award. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day.

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit nurse Tamara Bell recently returned to acute care to meet the needs of the COVID patients. An adult child of one of Bell’s patients in the COVID unit nominated her for the DAISY Award for taking care of his mother when he couldn’t be with her. He wrote in the nomination form, “This was hard for all of us, because we could not visit mom at all. Tamara always answered any question I had and answered any concerns kindly. She honestly made me feel like I was the most important patient’s relative she had.  You could tell that she was genuinely concerned about mom. I later found out that Tamara had my mother as a patient multiple days in a row because she requested to work on the COVID-19 unit so she could continue to care for my mother. Knowing that Tamara cared enough to willingly come up there and put on all that equipment each time she had to go in the room warms my heart. She never acted as though any of it was a bother.  She just cared.”

OCH Chief Nursing Officer Michelle Welander said, “We have wonderful nurses at OCH and Tamara is one example of our heroes. 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.”

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family.  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. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.)  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 patient families.

Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues.  The award recipient is chosen by a committee at OCH to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are presented throughout the year at celebrations attended by the Honoree’s colleagues, patients, and visitors.  Each Honoree receives a certificate commending her or him as 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.”  Honorees also receive a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation, “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, extraordinary, compassionate work they do.  The kind of work the nurses at OCH are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 3,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects and for nurses participating in medical missions. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org.

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