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Celebrating Nurses Week with a Daisy Chain

People remember the extraordinary care they receive.

That was true for family members of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP). Inspired by the care Patrick received for this little-known autoimmune disease, his family created the not-for-profit DAISY Foundation. It recognizes the super-human care nurses provide every day in communities around the world.

At CHI St. Alexius Health, we couldn’t be prouder of the extraordinary care our nurses provide. That’s why we began accepting nominations for the DAISY award last year. “Nurses who receive this award often respond by saying, ‘I was just doing my job.’ That just demonstrates how extraordinary they are - going above and beyond to touch someone’s life is part of their normal routine,” said Dr. Anderson. "Nurses are truly the heart of health care. We could not do what we do without their expertise and dedication to the patients we serve". Being able to share this award is particularly gratifying after more than a year of working through the global health emergency that is COVID-19. 

“Nurses are among those who answered the call despite their own worry and concern about this new virus. We knew so little about the coronavirus and we had so much to learn,” said Dr. Robert Kemp.

For months, nurses were at the bedside caring for critically ill Covid-19 patients. They were with family members explaining care and providing the connection to patients when visitor restrictions were in place. They were in clinics and they were also on the phone helping patients decide if they should be seen. Now they’re putting the much anticipated Covid-19 shots in arms. 

“Nurses are there with strength in our weakest moments, compassion when we feel alone, but most importantly, they bring evidence-based strategies to health care which truly make a difference. They” Dr. Anderson said. 

Unaware that we would soon be facing a pandemic, the World Health Organization had declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife to honor the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. It was considered an opportunity to recognize the vital role nurses play in transforming health care around the world - from North Dakota to Nepal.

“Nurses are known for being caring and compassionate, but they also lead with their intellect. They notice the subtlest signs that a patient’s condition is changing. Every day, minute by minute, they are solving problems with the care they provide,” said Dr. Anderson. When you’re the patient, a nurse touches your life. By helping improve your health, their talents also touch the lives of your loved ones. “A nurse’s work also extends far beyond the bedside. Many do research. Others educate future nurses. They are truly multitalented,” said Dr. Robert Kemp.