Rachel DeCosta

Rachel DeCosta, RN, BSN

Medicine Specialties
University of Colorado Hospital
Denver, Colorado
United States
Rachel arranged to have M’s husband join us so that together, we could commemorate M and take delight in participating in the blissful act of savoring “M’s Taco soup.”

Rachel depicts the fundamental qualities one searches for in a leader.  In fact, on multiple occasions, staff repeatedly provide feedback about her willingness to step in, her responsiveness and immeasurable support.  But this letter is not written solely to recognize her inexhaustible commitment to her staff.  It is written to highlight one act that captures her essence. 

As a Charge RN on Medicine Specialties, Rachel staffs the unit and additionally works as a Charge.  She supports the unit in varying capacities and often times, gets called into patient rooms to remediate or simply to provide reinforcement.  It was on one of those occasions that she met a patient that I will anonymously name M.  According to Rachel, “M was very grandmotherly.”  M fixated on meals, particularly on her favorite soup recipe.  She even went to the extent of writing the recipe for Rachel so as to ensure she could experience the delicacy.  M was on our unit an extended period of time awaiting a transplant and time and again, reminded all that took care of her about her highly acclaimed soup recipe.  It was apparent that M wanted all to have an opportunity to taste the heavenly creation rightfully named “Taco soup.”  Rachel knew M had a hankering for the Taco soup, and decided she would make it at home and bring it in for M to savor.

After considering dietary restrictions, Rachel decided to reach out to the Dietary supervisor, to query if he could assist with making the soup and to ensure M’s dietary restrictions were not compromised.  He agreed to assist with the endeavor, even going as far as bringing in bags of Fritos and sour cream for toppings (just as M acclaimed).  The day was marked on the calendar, Rachel coordinated the celebration, and details were all in place for all to enjoy M’s Taco soup.  Before that hopeful day arrived, M received news about an organ and was transferred out of the unit.  Rachel assumed that due to circumstances, the soup plans were dismissed altogether.  Nevertheless, both she and Dietary were relentless in their pursuit to meet the patient needs and to have all on the unit partake in M’s delight.  The day came and they arranged to have 5 gallons of Taco soup delivered to Medicine Specialties, replete with baskets of Fritos and sour cream.  Rachel arranged to have M’s husband join us so that together, we could commemorate M and take delight in participating in the blissful act of savoring “M’s Taco soup.” 

While the act was a sensible one, M’s husband was profoundly touched by Rachel’s sentiment and distinguished celebration of life.  It was but one sensible act, but to M’s husband, deserved laudable praise.  On behalf of the Medicine Specialties Unit, I’d like to nominate Rachel for the DAISY Award, for serving as an example of extolling a patient’s desire via one effortless act that to M and spouse, was recognized as monumental.