Anthony was nominated by his Patient Care Director because "he is remarkably energetic and a positive team player." He is a consummate professional who exudes confidence and a calming low-expressed-emotion personality which has an infectious quality. He remains level-headed and leads any unit crisis-intervention efforts in a way that allows others to compose themselves and feel confident in their abilities, as well as always ensuring the dignity of the patient. He spends a tremendous amount of time outside of the nurses' station interacting with patients and engaging their loved ones during visiting hours.
Patients and family members seek Anthony out while he is on duty and often ask when he is returning if he's not on duty. Anthony has a natural caring persona and is an RN who fully understands the complexities of the long-term stabilization of the psychiatric patient and how family involvement and understanding of the illness and treatment can impact recovery in a positive way. Anthony is proactive in going up to family members and loved ones and asking if he can be of assistance. This allows the family and patients to feel confident that the providers are caring and thoughtful and are always putting patients first.
One of the many cases in which Anthony's involvement had a direct impact on the patient experience is a geriatric patient who had been living with depression for many years and was seeking further evaluation as an inpatient for the first time. This was an extremely difficulty and anxiety-ridden time for this otherwise high functioning individual. After several failed medication trials, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) became the recommended therapy. Throughout the series of ECT treatments the patient relied heavily on Anthony. The two would discuss sports and other events which helped to distract this patient from his perseverative negative thoughts. Anthony utilized his training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to teach the patient how to disprove and reframe these thoughts into positive, rational ones. After successful completion of ECT and discharge, staff members would see the patient in the hallway while he was attending out-patient treatment, and the first thing out of his mouth would be, "Is Anthony here today? Please say hello to him for me. He is special." The patient relapsed several months later, but knew that coming into the hospital was not as scary as it was the first time around because of nurses like Anthony. He requested to return to this unit even though the age of most patients was much younger. This was because he wanted to work with the clinical team and in particular with Anthony once again.
We are very proud and honored to have such a caring, extraordinary nurse as Anthony DeDonatis, our most recent DAISY Award Honoree!