Three nurses at Parkwest Medical Center have recently been recognized with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the superhuman efforts nurses perform every day. The DAISY Award was established in 1999 by the family of a patient in Seattle, Washington, who received extraordinary care and compassion from his nurses during his final days. The most recent recipients of this award at Parkwest are Ashley Adams, RN; Jodi Counts, RN, and Claudia Fisch, RN.
Ashley Adams, RN, works on 2 Montvue in Parkwest’s Heart, Lung and Vascular unit. She was recognized by one of her patients, Linda Burgess. Here is part of what Burgess had to say about Ashley: “We are still telling friends and family how wonderfully we were treated. All of my nurses were great, but there was one that went above being nice. Her name was Ashley Adams. She was the sweetest and kindest, and I could use all of this paper saying nice things about her. She came in about 6:45 with another nurse that was taking over. As she was leaving, she said she would come by before she left to say goodbye because she wasn’t working the next day and I was being discharged. I wasn’t expecting her to come by after a hard day of working – 12 hours is a long day. At 9 p.m. my door opened and there was Ashley, coat on, ready to leave, coming by to say she wanted to say bye and hoped all went well when I got home. Tears are in my eyes now, remembering that sweet time she spent with me.”
Burgess and her husband were very impressed with Ashley’s attention to detail, and how attentive she was to their needs.
After completing her nursing school clinical rotation at Parkwest, Adams began her nursing career at Parkwest in June 2017. Adams said what she loves best about her job is “being able to talk to and connect with patients.”
Adams’ decision to become a nurse was influenced by years of accompanying her grandmother to doctor’s appointments. “I always loved being by my grandmother’s side and seeing the doctors and nurses take care of her. I grew to love the profession by taking care of her.”
“My grandmother died unexpectedly in August 2015 as I was beginning nursing school. I was devastated and wanted to drop out. However, I remembered a few months before when my grandmother and I were discussing what I would do once I graduated nursing school. I remember her telling me, ‘How neat would it be if you were able to get a job at Parkwest, where you have accompanied me for so many years?!’ Fast forward two years later, and I started my clinicals at Parkwest.
“It was such an honor to receive The DAISY award,” said Adams. “It was such a surprise and all of the warm wishes meant so much. As nurses, we work so hard and such long hours and it often goes unnoticed. Receiving this award was so encouraging to keep striving for excellence in everything that I do.”
Jodi Counts, RN, diagnostic radiology, has worked at Parkwest for more than 11 years. She recently received The DAISY award after being nominated by patient Joyce Conkin.
Conkin said, “I came in to Parkwest for a CT scan in outpatient imaging. Everyone from registration, outpatient staff and nurses were great and compassionate to me. Jodi was the nurse that spent the most time with me and she treated me like an old friend, even though we had never met! Jodi took care of my like she would want one of her family members to be cared for.
“Having a biopsy done for a second time was painful and scary. When I was anxious and crying, Jodi knew exactly what to do to reassure me that things would be all right and comforted me. Jodi’s kindness was more than taking care of my physical needs and comfort. The kindness was ’her,’ and she gave me the love and reassurance things were going to be OK. I would be praying and she would pray with me. Jodi did things to comfort me before I could ask. I told Jodi to ‘turn around, I think I see angel wings’ growing out of her back. I could list a hundred ways she comforted me, but her love and compassion for me (and her other patients) was outstanding.”
A nurse for over 40 years, Counts says that she loves nursing as much as the first day she started. “My mother was a nurse and I saw how much she loved her work. I truly think this profession is a calling, not just a job.”
When asked what she loves most about nursing, Counts said, “being able to care for people and comfort them when they are possibly having the worst experience of their life or at the end of their life.”
Counts was surprised to win The DAISY Award “I was just doing my job. It is wonderful to be recognized for that. I think compassion is the most necessary part of my job. You have to have the knowledge and skills to be a nurse, but add compassion into that mix and you will go far. I don’t think you can teach this; it is something that you either have or develop over time. I have had so many “experiences” as a patient and family member of someone very ill that it helps me understand how everyone in the patient’s life feels. Also, working with a team of great people helps tremendously. I am blessed to work with so many awesome people throughout Parkwest.”
The third recipient is Claudia Fisch, RN, who works on the cardiothoracic surgical unit at Parkwest, and was surprised by her DAISY award presentation when the family who nominated her showed up to read their nomination.
Michelle Mott submitted a nomination for the care Fisch provided to her mother before her passing. “Claudia was an angel to our family. My mother was on her floor for four days from a punctured lung. Mom came into the hospital very malnourished and weak. She had given up long before she fell and punctured her lung. Claudia was patient, yet firm, with a woman who had given up.
“She was the only one who could get mom to take even a few bites of food off of her tray. Claudia was very clear and honest with our family when we needed assistance and advice. Kindness and grace were always in her answers, no matter how hard those answers were to hear. Claudia was the first to notice some paralysis on the second day of mom’s stay. She was diligent in her assessment and proactive in mom’s care until a stroke could be confirmed. She wanted to prevent choking and aspirating before we ever knew that mom’s swallowing had been compromised. I was with Claudia and my father when she had to speak with dad about a DNR. Mom’s stroke was major, she was 80, she was paralyzed and she only weighed 74 pounds. Claudia explained [this] to my dad and as he wept, she held his hand and waited patiently for his answer. I saw tears in her eyes as she hugged my dad, for his sorrow was deep.”
Fisch has been a registered nurse for almost 30 years, but has only been at Parkwest for the past nine months. “Being a nurse can be challenging,” said Fisch, “but supporting patients and their families during their most vulnerable time has proven very rewarding. I have found that including families and keeping them updated and informed can make a very big difference. It means so much to me when I can touch others and make their situation better.”
Upon receiving The DAISY award, Fisch said, “I was very honored to receive The DAISY award, although it was a totally unexpected surprise. I didn’t realize how much I influenced the family that placed the nomination, but am so happy to have helped them get through such a difficult time. I only can say that even though our positions can be overwhelmingly busy sometimes, it helps if we can slow down a little to listen with our heart. We just may be able to touch the heart and soul of another and make their life that much better and make a lasting memory.”
To nominate a nurse for providing outstanding care visit TreatedWell.com/DAISY.