The patient was a 17-year-old Pediatric Service patient who was transferred from the PICU for Palliative and End of Life Care to the Oncology unit. Amy was one of the first nurses to sign up to become a primary nurse for this out of town family.
Even though the patient was unconscious, she listened closely to the mother to discern what he liked and who he was as a person and individual. For example, he loved turtles, so she brought in a small turtle for him to hold in his hand.
He received meticulous care in the 2 months he was on the Oncology unit, he was completely immobile, and had no skin breakdown.
When the mother was offered a choice to go to pediatric children’s hospice, the George Mark House, she declined, most likely due to the excellent care her son was receiving and the connection she had developed with the nursing staff.
The following is one example of an exceptional intervention provided by Amy Ramsay: One day when Amy was turning him she realized his mother would be missing out on important milestones in his life, including his high school graduation and prom. As Amy contemplated this, she thought, “I can’t create a high school prom, but I can create a high school graduation!” As soon as his mom left the room Amy started making calls. She called the hospital school, and the teachers created an honorary diploma which they placed in a frame. They were also able to obtain a black gown and a mortar board hat with a tassel. Amy also called Social Work and guest services, who provided refreshments and decorations, and the gift shop provided gifts such as stuffed turtles. Calls were also made to the care providers from the medical and nursing team, within 4 hours, Amy had pulled together a graduation ceremony for him. His mother was asked to leave the room for a break, she would understand why when she returned at a designated time. Upon his mother’s return, she entered a decorated room filled with staff and the graduation music of Pomp and Circumstance, and her son in graduation gown and cap. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Within a four-hour window, Amy had completely transformed an ordinary day into an unforgettable extraordinary day for his mother that she will never forget. Amy had also provided an intangible gift for Anthony’s mother – a recognition and honor of her son’s hard work as a student, despite him not being able to participate in his own high school graduation.
Amy exemplifies going above and beyond in delivering exemplary nursing care. Instead of simply thinking about an idea, she took immediate action and transformed the idea into a reality. She is absolutely a DAISY Nurse for making a difference in the midst of a tragic circumstance for his family.