I nominate Veronica Agee for the DAISY award as she exemplifies every aspect of what being a nurse truly signifies in our medical world. As Florence Nightingale referenced, the true art of nursing lies in one’s interpretation of subjective and objective stimuli and how one utilizes this information determines the quality of his or her care. Since the very first shift I worked with Agee she has been and continues to be a wonderful role model for prospective nurses and coworkers who have the incredible opportunity to witness her work as a registered nurse. I started out working as a patient care technician and had no idea the impact that Agee would have on the rest of my career. I have since transitioned to my own role as a RN, but carry her example with me in my practice.
Veronica selflessly devotes herself to her patients and their families, her coworkers, community, church, family and to Froedtert Hospital. First, and most importantly, I would like to address her amazing ability to simply be present for her patient and their families. This is one of Veronica’s greatest qualities and most admirable, in my opinion. We had one patient who faced a terminal illness, kept facing one obstacle after another throughout his hospital stay, was in extreme pain and was dealing with the reality that he was going to die. Yet, each night shift, he looked forward to seeing Veronica and having their simple conversations. I was in awe of her effortless and natural way of forming a bond with this patient and his welcoming response to her as his RN, and as a personal in general. They hit if off right away as they had similar roots to where she grew up and where he lived, and each night the conversation picked up where it left off. I observed this patient resume a “normal” existence while in her presence each night which, for those short instances, gave him relief of pain and worry about what he was experiencing. Nursing is full of tasks and time constraints, but this one example demonstrates the true calling in nursing – being present and available at all levels for our patients and their families. This patient eventually went home and passed away on his own terms, but I cannot help but think he was thinking of Veronica when he left this world. As a new RN, I could not have a better role model in my life. I only hope that I can be as great of a nurse and person as Agee portrayed to me.
Another note worth mentioning, as I referenced earlier, is Veronica’s devotion to her work and Froedtert Hospital. She is a member of multiple councils, an instructor for several classes, a super user for new technology programs that are initiated, a Level IV nurse and much, much more.
I think she is a true representative of what it means to be committed to excellence. Froedtert Hospital is very fortunate to have such a wonderful nurse and colleague that I find so admirable and deserving of this award. If you ask any of her patients, I’d be willing to bet they would say that same thing!