Outstanding Nursing is compassion for a complete stranger and their family through your words and actions during difficult times. Michelle Chaney exemplifies these characteristics each and every day. As charge nurse, I was able to witness this in action when she cared for a patient who was dying.
Michelle immediately advocated for her patient by calling the doctor multiple times to increase his pain medications till the patient was finally comfortable. She moved him to a private room so his mom could spend the night at his side. The patient said, “don’t forget my holy water”, referring to his fentanyl drip she had started and was titrating. He said he was finally getting some relief from the pain. Michelle also supported the patient’s family, especially his mom by explaining what to expect during the dying process and giving reassurance that she would be there the entire time to keep him comfortable. She encouraged his mom to go home to eat and rest, and she would call her back to the hospital if she thought he might be close to dying. She explained that it was important for her to keep telling him how much she loved him and that he could go because he could still hear her even though he was no longer responding.
Michelle learned that this is not the mom’s first child she has outlived. When the doctors started making plans to move the patient to hospice, his mom said she didn’t want to leave St. Francis because there would be no better nurse to care for her son than Michelle. After caring for the patient for three days, Michelle hoped that she could be the one to care for her patient when he passed, as a result of her extraordinary nursing care, I do believe with all my heart this patient waited and passed on Michelle’s shift so she could be the one to comfort his family.
It’s hard to explain the bond this nurse made with her patient and his family but I know Michelle was sent to this family for that reason. Michelle hugged her patient’s mom and let her cry in her arms.
This is just one example of how Michelle provides extraordinary nursing care and exemplifies the love, knowledge, and empathy the DAISY award represents on a daily basis.