Donna Cahill

Donna Cahill

Donna Cahill, MSN, RN-BC, CNS, CEN

Clinical Nurse Specialist /Pain and Palliative Care Service
Scripps Mercy Hospital: San Diego and Chula Vista
San Diego, California
United States

Recently, a patient was at her wits end because of pain. Like an angel, Donna Cahill came to the medical/oncology unit as if she had been called from above to intervene. The Nurse Manager asked Donna to assess this patient and recommend a plan for pain management. Donna skillfully and compassionately administered healing touch for 2 hours. This simple act of kindness enabled the patient to drift off into much needed sleep. Two hours later, Donna returned to check on the patient and she was resting comfortably.
Healing touch is a non-pharmaceutical therapy that treats the whole person by relaxing the mind, helping the body heal, and soothing the spirit. Healing touch does not stop at the skin – an energy field, or aura, extends several inches to several feet from the body. When illness occurs, it creates a disturbance or blockage in the vital energy field. The healing touch practitioner uses his or her hands to sense the blockage or disturbance. Literature and research describe how, in a series of gentle strokes, the healer may remove the disturbance and rebalance energy to restore health. As a compassionate practitioner, Donna is ideally suited to administer this type of holistic care to patients. Additionally she organizes healing touch for her professional colleagues. One example was a "Compassion Fatigue/Stress Reduction" day for emergency department nurses.
Donna has been a registered nurse at Mercy and Scripps Mercy for 29 years. She served as the nurse educator in the emergency department. In April 2009, she transferred to the Trauma Observation Unit on the 10th floor, soon after earning her masters degree as a clinical nurse specialist from Point Loma Nazarene University. On the 10th floor, Donna served as both nurse educator and advance practice nurse. This past year, she has transitioned into the role of her dreams – a clinical nurse specialist for pain and palliative care services. Those blessed to work with Donna appreciate her kind and gentle manner as well as her devotion to each patient and to the nursing profession. Donna emulates compassionate care in her daily work as she cares for patients, their families, and her colleagues. Donna represents the purpose of the DAISY Foundation and this award.