Allan Gourley is an excellent nominee for the DAISY Award. I've known Allan for almost 10 years, and I've seen him progress from being an excellent nurse on 7 West, working diligently in Emergency Room, performing a superb job in the MICU and now as an important part of the Rapid Response Team. He consistently meets and exceeds the Lahey Clinic criteria of Respect, Caring, Teamwork, Excellence, and Commitment to Personal Best.
Allan treats others with compassion and empathy. He is caring, giving, and always goes above and beyond his call of duty. When a little old lady needs his help on the night shift, not only is he performing his job, pushing a medication that other nurses on the floor can not, but he stays with the patient and holds her hand. He treats his patients with dignity and respect. Even with the most confused patients, or difficult patients to deal with, Allan exercises patience and compassion. He tries to reorient the patient, explain, deal with, and very calmly tries to calm them down. I've witnessed this behavior on numerous occasions. No matter how busy he gets, he always remains calm and professional. The patients love him and always comment how well he takes care of them.
Allan is respected on the night shift not only by his peers, supervisors, colleagues, physicians but mostly by the patients he cares for. The staff nurses feel very comfortable when he is working. He always makes them feel like they can call him at any time and ask any question without making them feel uneasy. He answers them with the confidence he posses, but at the same time he is not afraid to say "I don't know, lets find the answer together".
The physicians always respect his knowledge and have called me on numerous occasions, praising him. Allan demonstrates skills as a responsive team member. He teaches others by the example he sets. He always demonstrates critical thinking, solving problems, and showing his leadership skills. The nurses refer to him as their teacher. He is their role model.
Two months ago, Allan was making his rounds on 5 West. He single handedly saved a man's life. Recognizing the deadly arrhythmia of ventricular fibrillation, he grabbed the code cart and shocked the patient to restore him to a normal sinus rhythm. When the code team arrived, the patient was fighting with Allan who tried to keep him from falling off the bed. When I asked the physician to sign the code sheet, he told me that "Dr. Allan should take the credit for saving the patient's life". The patient's little girl (he was only 47 years old) sent a special note the next day stating, "I would like to thank Big Al and the nurses for saving my daddy's life. Thank you so much. Our whole family is thankful. We are happy that you work here and we are happy that you treated my daddy". Signed the Family. All the nurses on 5 West expressed their gratitude for Allan's quick thinking, and quick response. He didn't want to take the credit, stating over and over that he was just doing his job.
When needed, Allan always helps the supervisors. He never questions, never argues, never talks back, but does it with the smile on his face. Two weeks ago we needed him in a different capacity, meaning he needed to take an assignment in the ER and he did it without any questions. This is very unusual, since the Rapid Response nurses don't usually take an assignment. When a code was called he called me and wanted to know if I need him there as well. Allan always displays teamwork. He works well with others and his peers love to work with him. The security department calls on Al to help them with difficult patients.
He directs and inspires his colleagues. He provides teaching and guidance to the staff and stability during the crisis. Allan is always very calm during the code situation. He displays knowledge and professionalism. Sometimes he uses humor to undo the tense and very difficult situation. He establishes professional relationships with his supervisors, nurses, physicians and other colleagues and with patients and their families. I see him many times during the night sitting with the family members and just talking and listening to their fears and frustrations. He brings them coffee, and stays with them when their loved one is in surgery.
Allan is considered to be an expert clinician. He is an excellent decision maker. He takes pride in his work. He shows compassion but at the same time he celebrates his patient’s accomplishments. He cheers for their recovery, stays with them when the doctor leaves and explains in very simple terms so they could understand how well they did after the procedure. His patients and nurses love him, and refer to him as "Big AL". Big Al, displays a positive attitude in the work place. He is very supportive and open to change and acts as a role model to all staff. He upholds standards of quality nursing care.
Allan Gourley is a valued member on the night staff and in the Rapid Response Unit. He has clinical skills and expertise that he shares with the staff and colleagues. In addition to his excellent clinical skills he brings to the role values, integrity and high performance. I strongly recommend Allan Gourley for the DAISY Award.
Lahey Clinic is very proud to have such an outstanding nurse on our staff.