UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines DAISY Award Recipients

Congratulations to each of our very deserving DAISY award recipients. Their incredible commitment to our CORE values is evidenced in each of their touching nomination stories listed below.

December 2015

Anna Benton

Oncology (Powell 3), Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Anna's clinical skills – especially her compassionate care – exemplifies a nurse that patients, families and staff recognize as an outstanding role model. My dad was a patient for the longest month and a half of my life. All of the nurses were a blessing, but Anna stood out above the rest.

When my dad was admitted, he was afraid and unsure of what was going on. I live in Baton Rouge, LA, so he would ask me, "Did you call those nurses today? What are they saying?" I called every day, sometimes more than once. One day, I asked to speak to his nurse. They placed me on hold and then Anna answered and introduced herself as my dad's nurse. I apologized for how bothersome I was for always calling. She assured me it was fine, and I was no bother. We talked about his day and what the doctor had said, and just as I was about to get off the phone, she told me, "I will be here with him, and I'll take good care of him." I know this is what a nurse is supposed to say – we learn it in school – but with her I felt it. Over the next few weeks, I called, she answered and we talked about Dad. I soon flew in and met all of the nurses, but I was looking for Anna. I went to the nurse's station and recognized her voice. We hugged and I told her how nice it was to finally meet her.

Every day, Anna would pop her head in just to say 'hi' and ask him if he was all right, even when she wasn't his nurse. Toward the end, Dad became very ill, was rushed to surgery and transferred to critical care. While there, my dad said, "I have to get well. Anna will be looking for me." This meant a lot because it showed me she had touched his life as much as she touched mine. We made it back a few days later, and Anna was there.

About a week later, the doctor said it was time to move to hospice, so we made arrangements to transfer to Taylor House. Anna assured me the facility was ok, and she wished us the best. For some strange reason the fact that she thought it was ok meant a lot. After all, over the weeks, she had taken such good care of my dad. She came in and talked to Dad one last time and gave him a hug. When the ambulance came, Dad looked at me and said, "Promise me you'll do that thing for Anna." I assured him I would.

With this nomination I can now say, "Yes, Pop, I did that thing for her." My family's time there was hard but blessed. I have to say Anna was the best! She made Dad feel safe and cared about. She touched his life at one of his lowest points and made him smile. On behalf of my family, I would like to say THANK YOU. I know as nurses we often do not get appreciated, but I want you to know we love you and appreciate you!

September 2015

Abbey Kruse, RN

Endoscopy, Iowa Lutheran Hospital

I was scheduled for an upper GI at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Abbey was my nurse. The moment I walked in, Abbey greeted me with a welcoming smile and assurances this procedure would go smoothly.

Abbey had the innate ability to sense my anxiety and was quick to dissolve those feelings. She went out of her way to prepare the appropriate medical supplies to access my port line. Abbey showed such confidence in her abilities that I was never nervous she'd cause harm to me or the port line. With a steady hand, Abbey got the port accessed and off to the procedure I went.

When I woke up from the sedation, Abbey's face, voice and kind words were the first thing I remember. What could have been a very anxious time for me was easily turned into a pleasant experience with Abbey. She showed her skills and talents as a nurse, was highly professional and adhered to the safety standards to protect both her and me from infection. I never once felt like a patient; I felt like an integral part of her team. I can honestly say I have never had a more wonderful nurse than Abbey.

August 2015

Amanda Stecker, RN

Powell 4, Iowa Methodist Medical Center

I arrived one evening from Utah to the bedside of my elderly father. My sister had called me that morning and informed me my father's health had quickly declined and he might be dying. I am a professor at the University of Utah, College of Nursing and an adult Nurse Practitioner. As I looked at my father in his unconscious state, I noticed his breathing was wet and labored. When Amanda introduced herself, I shared I had a goal of increasing my father's comfort. She included me in the plan of care and outlined steps she thought would achieve this increased level of comfort. The plan was complex and involved a great deal of nursing time, critical thinking, problem-solving, reassessing and using a lot of objective and subjective data to achieve the goal.

I was amazed by midnight, she had figured out he oxygenated best on his right side and his back, he needed morphine every hour instead of every two hours and atropine every two hours to decrease his pulmonary secretions. With this plan, his work of breathing significantly decreased, his blood pressure and heart rate almost normalized and his breathing was quiet.

Amanda had many patients to care for, but she didn't lose sight of the fact that even a dying patient deserves excellent care. Amanda showed compassion, respect, excellent nursing care and was open to working with me towards a common goal. She deserves every aspect of the DAISY Award.

June 2015

Myla W., RN

Younker Rehabilitation (Younker 4), Iowa Methodist Medical Center

My mother was critically injured in an auto accident, which claimed the life of my father in 2014. After several weeks of care in another state, my mom was accepted into the Younker Rehab program. She spent six weeks learning to pivot, stand, slide and eventually walk. There were many good days, but there were also days she felt it would be easier to just live in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life. Myla Weaver, RN, was "gently powerful" in reminding Mom that her life was not over. They shared bits and pieces of their lives with one another. My mother is a professional violinist and was devastated over the loss of my father, and her multiple injuries - most notably to her "bowing" arm. The Rehab team worked their magic, and over time, Mom improved.

Mom developed many alliances with other patients and before discharge, Mom and the other "women of rehab" vowed to meet at a West Des Moines restaurant. I did not expect anyone would be there, but Mom had a great visit with a fellow rehab friend. As I sat nearby listening, I realized they were talking about the wonderful nurse named Myla.

Myla, thank you for helping patients who come into your life. Your power of kindness extended far beyond the walls of the hospital. It is a pleasure to have known you, and Mom sends her love.

May 2015

Connie Goodman, RN

Oncology (Powell 3)

Connie is an amazing nurse. My family had the joy of getting to know Connie last month when my stepfather's best friend was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with cancer. It is difficult to put into words how amazing Connie is and was to my family. Our friend was a very special person and someone very dear to all of us. He had a big heart and loved people. All of his life, he surrounded himself with friends and family.

After being admitted to Powell 3, he met Connie and she changed his life, and the lives of those around him. They had an instant connection. She would come in his room and you could see by the look on his face he was so happy to see her. She made him feel comfortable and put all his worries at ease. Not only did Connie go above and beyond to make him comfortable in the hospital she extended this care beyond our doors. He was discharged to hospice and Connie visited him every day. She would sit with him for hours and talk about his life and the difference he made. She would talk about his 40 years as a firefighter and remind him of all the great things he did for his community. Connie would reassure him that he had lived a good life and helped calm his anxieties about dying. She talked with him about death and assured him it was okay to go. The interactions we witnessed brought tears to our eyes and made me so proud to know that this nurse was from UnityPoint Health - Des Moines.

There are no words to describe how important Connie was to him. When he needed acceptance and comfort the most, Connie was there for him. She is an amazing, compassionate and excellent nurse that should be recognized for the great things she has done. She truly made a difference in his final days and my family's final days with our dear friend.

March 2015

Diana "Bucky" Stuart

CCU/ICU, Iowa Methodist Medical Center

Bucky, as she is known to her patients and coworkers, is a very hard working nurse that will go many steps above basic care requirements of the patient. One thing I really felt about the care she gave my son is she treated him as a "person" and not as a patient. My son was in CCU for 39 days. One morning, my wife and I walked into his room and after seeing him lying on his back hooked to many machines and lines, Bucky had him sitting up in a chair! What a shock! Her goal was to get him up once a day for at least an hour. She watched the forecast and could see a day coming where the weather was going to be 68 degrees. Her plan was to take our son out into the park. We questioned this because of all of the machines, but her reaction was, "We are going to do this!" A few days later, with two nurses, a nurse's aide and a respiratory person, we began the trip to the park. It looked like a train of equipment and people, but she made it to the park with him. We all spent 10 minutes outside with him before we began the trip back. Going above and beyond for the patient and making them feel like a person again, that's Bucky!

February 2015

Jaime Young, RN

Maternity Services, Iowa Methodist Medical Center

My wife and I came to the OB unit after learning we had just lost our son and would be forced to deliver a stillborn baby. Jaime was our nurse for two days, during which my wife was in induced labor, lasting almost 48 hours. Jaime made many appearances whenever we called, and even when we didn't, to make sure we were as comfortable as possible and we understood what was happening. She never acted as if she was rushed and always made us feel like the only people in the unit. She was one of our most compassionate supporters during this devastating time. She even sat and talked with my wife for 45 minutes, listening to her feelings and concerns and doing her best to console and help us understand. She never once took for granted the gravity of our situation. She was more than accommodating, not only to us as patients, but also to our entire family.

On the second day, the possibility of a C-section started to turn into reality. Jaime was worried it would happen during shift change. My wife and I both hoped it wouldn't as we didn't want anyone but Jaime. Little did we know, Jaime was not going to allow that to happen and stayed three hours past her shift to hold my wife's hand during her C-section. She also delivered my son to me and stayed while our family spent time with him that night. She was and is a Godsend to our family. We all agreed Jaime became a family member during her time with us. We will always look back at those days with sadness, but will be able to smile a little because of the impact she had on our lives. My wife is an RN and fully understands the gravity of this award and that it takes a special person to earn one. Jaime is a living example of everything that health care should be.

- Submitted by a Patient's Family

January 2015

Kelly Muth, RN

Maternity Services

As my husband and I anticipated the birth of our second son, we were nervous about making the drive from our small town in Southwest Iowa to Des Moines. The day finally came, and we made the hour drive to Methodist Medical Center. After being assigned a room, shift change occurred, and I was greeted by my labor and delivery nurses, Kelly and Michelle. Michelle is in the Nurse Residency program and Kelly is her mentor. They were both exceptional.

During our stay, my husband and I had the great honor to have Kelly not only as a L&D nurse, but also as a postpartum nurse. As our labor and delivery nurse, she provided a sense of calm during a time which is often not serene. Additionally, she shared her expertise in labor positioning to help the overall process. Kelly's quick thinking and actions helped to safely bring our son into the world. The days following his birth, Kelly answered all our questions and provided great care. She instilled confidence in our ability to parent a newborn again through great communication and compassion.

I am grateful Kelly was assigned to us and was able to follow us throughout our stay. Kelly is exceptional and I can only hope that our next child will be surrounded by her poise, knowledge and genuine kindness upon arrival. 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' - Maya Angelou