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KershawHealth celebrates National Nurses Week

Staff, administration recognize excellence in nursing

Posted: May 16, 2016 5:03 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Martin L. Cahn/C-I

Collier received a surprise of her own: the unveiling of an approximately 3-foot-tall statue of the Healing Touch sculpture given to all DAISY Award recipients. The sculpture, made by Zimbabwean tribal artists, will be displayed prominently at KershawHealth. Efforts are already underway to obtain a base for the statue.

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In addition to recognizing Palmetto Gold award-winning nurse Julie Watson in absentia (see accompanying story), KershawHealth took time out May 11 to celebrate National Nurses Week by handing out its latest DAISY Award winners during a ceremony in the hospital’s third floor Med 2 lobby.

DAISY Awards are presented across the country in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 of an auto-immune disease, as a way for his family to say “thank you” to the country’s extraordinary nurses.

KershawHealth presented two DAISY Awards on May 11, one for a staff nurse and one for a nurse leader.

Chief Nursing Officer Stacy Collier said the hospital received 142 nominations during the previous 15 months for 80 nurses since the first DAISY Award was handed out in January 2015, meaning a large number of nurses received multiple nominations. KershawHealth hands out the awards on a quarterly basis; Collier said being able to do so during National Nurses Week is “extra special.”

From among the 18 nominations for this quarter, Collier announced Arleen Herrick, a nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU), as this quarter’s staff nurse DAISY winner, and had fellow nurse Stacey Hall read from the winning nomination.

“‘My sister and I arrived at KershawHealth from Tennessee to be with our brother, who’s wife was being treated,’” Hall read. “‘The nominee immediately informed us of the extremely serious condition and quickly arranged a meeting with the doctor so we could be fully informed of the situation. The nominee told us that the family was waiting to make a decision about life support. Our brother made the decision to remove the ventilator. As the day progressed, the nominee gave the most genuinely Godly care to the patient. The nominee cared for her every need as well as telling us what to expect as the day progressed. The nominee comforted us and offered a beautiful prayer and stayed with us as the patient breathed her last breath. The nominee continued to comfort us until we left the building. I know that the love, care and concern followed us as we continued home.’”

In winning the DAISY honor, Herrick received a handmade sculpture in Zimbabwe called “Healing Touch,” a certificate and DAISY pin.

Collier said Herrick has been a nurse at KershawHealth for a “very long time” and called the care she gives patients “simply remarkable.”

Once a year, for National Nurses Week, KershawHealth also presents a DAISY Award to a nurse leader. This year’s nurse leader nominees were Kristina Allen, ICU charge nurse; Shane Barrett, night shift nursing supervisor; Debbie Bryson, Med 2 charge nurse; Lee Hunter, director of ICU; Phyllis Shearin, director of the Women’s Center; April Wach, director of the emergency department; and Watson, as nurse manager for the GI lab and oncology.

This year, the hospital chose ICU Director Lee Hunter as its nurse leader DAISY winner and was actually nominated by Herrick.

“‘I have worked under and benefitted from the exemplary model and leadership role of Lee,’” Hall read of Herrick’s nomination for Hunter. “‘She constantly encourages and challenges us to come up higher in how we represent ourselves, the patients and their families. She works efficiently and promptly, not delaying the challenges or difficulties of confronting issues that come up. She attends to morale boosting and community sharing activities, doing so with panache. She creates an environment (where) attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect, continued professional development and ethical behavior are modeled and supported. She motivates staff with shared vision and enthusiasm to achieve better outcomes for themselves and for their patients. She promotes and enhances the image of nursing.’”

In addition to Herrick and Hunter’s awards, KershawHealth also handed two SHINE Awards to two employees from among those serving as nursing assistants, patient care technicians, surgical technicians, unit secretaries, monitor technicians and environmental services staff. This year, the hospital honored Deloris Paige from Surgical West and Ken Wood from Transportation.

KershawHealth also honored Doug Murray on his retirement as the hospital’s director of pharmacy, thanking him for all his help to the nursing staff to ensure patient safety when it comes to medications.

“I know I speak for every nurse here … how much we appreciate everything you’ve done to support nursing and how you’ve gone above and beyond to protect our patients,” a tearful Collier said. “We just wish you all the best.”

Finally, KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn had a surprise for Collier, too. Thanks to fundraising efforts amongst staff and administrators, Gunn had Collier unveil a very heavy, almost an approximately 3-foot-tall version of the Healing Touch statue to place somewhere on the hospital’s grounds. Debbie Bryson, a nurse working on KershawHealth’s DAISY committee also announced a new fundraising effort is underway -- starting off with a $1,200 from the KershawHealth Auxiliary -- to purchase a base for the statue.

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