September 2012
Acute Renal Care
Medical Center
United States




Picture (left to right): Tom Fonner, RN Director, Sheryl Adams, RN, DAISY Honoree, Tracey Blalock, RN, AVP; Jeff Sellars, RN –Asst. Director
Sheryl Adams, RN was nominated because she personifies the spirit of the DAISY Award. Sheryl makes each patient she touches feel as if they are her only patient for the day. Sheryl has a certain way of connecting with her patients and helping them navigate through their illness. She helps our patients celebrate all of their accomplishments whether big or small.
The story that I would like to highlight is about an elderly gentleman who was admitted to the renal unit. When he was first admitted he had started to have a significant change in his lifestyle. He had always been very independent and had lived at home independently. After admission, it became obvious that he would not only be dependent on others, but he would have to be discharged to a skilled nursing facility for assistance with his many needs.
Because of the type of person that he was, a successful professional, well known in the community, strong family ties, very intellectual and independent; he struggled with his inability to care for himself. He was difficult to manage as a patient and often intimidating to the staff –that is – until he met Sheryl. Sheryl, as she often does, established a special bond with this gentleman. She became his primary nurse during his 2 week stay. Sheryl spent time with him and learned his likes and dislikes and you could slowly begin to see the patient accept Sheryl and welcome her as a caregiver. His appetite was poor and he was not eating well; Sheryl worked with dietary to order the foods that he liked – and also made him specialty treats from home. She even showed up to work one day with a cake that he told her was his favorite. On Easter Sunday Sheryl delivered an Easter basket filled with special goodies just for him.
The day of discharge finally arrived; Sheryl was caring for him that day and had everything ready. When the EMS arrived to take him, she was busy with another patient and could not immediately come to the desk – he refused to leave until Sheryl was able to come see him off. After about 10 minutes, Sheryl was able to come and tell him good-by, she gave him a great big hug and planted a big lipstick kiss right on his forehead as he lay on the stretcher. He had the biggest smile on his face as he left, as well as big crocodile tears coming from his eyes as he left to go to his new home – a local nursing home.
Little did we know that after his discharge, Sheryl continued to drop by to visit with him while she was off. We realized this when the family wrote a letter to MCCG wanting to recognize Sheryl and her compassionate nursing care. They talked about how his eyes would light up when she visited and how kind she was to such a “grumpy” old man. They also shared that he would not allow anyone to remove that “lipstick kiss” – eventually it just wore off. The family was so grateful that this nurse made such a positive impact on their father before his death and helped him transition and accept his final days.
This story may seem unique to many, but there are so many more that could be shared about Sheryl and her professional nursing career. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful caring nurse among us.