Cathi Votava

Cathi Votava

Cathi Votava, RN

Medical Surgical Unit
Vidant Chowan Hospital
Edenton, North Carolina
United States
Cathi offered to talk to my doctor on my behalf and then relay that information back to me in a way that I could understand and that is exactly what she did. Cathi gave me the confidence to conquer cancer that day!

Cathi can be best described as an individual who is loyal, trustworthy, honest, respectful, optimistic, and deeply compassionate.

I first met Cathi in 1995 when she was a bedside nurse at a Skilled Nursing Facility where I worked as a Nursing Assistant. I was instantly drawn to Cathi for her incredible warm caring personality that she showed to staff, patients, families, and visitors.  No matter the task, Cathi was always willing to lend a hand and pitch in to help out all of her co-workers.  Without hesitation, Cathi would lay aside documenting on a patient’s chart, roll up her sleeves, and help her team members diaper, turn and bathe patients. At the end of the day, Cathi would always make sure everyone had their work done before she left her shift. Certainly, an admirable characteristic to have in a nurse.  Cathi’s strong work ethic did not go unnoticed, in fact, it was contagious! A shift with Cathi was always a great shift to work.

Now, let’s fast forward 7 years.  In 2010, I was the patient and I got to experience first-hand the incredible nurse that Cathi was and still is. I found myself in a strange hospital, miles away from home, when none other than Cathi showed up! Yes, at that time, Cathi became more than a visitor visiting a co-worker, but more importantly a patient advocate for me, a very scared and afraid patient. As a Nursing Assistant, I could understand bits and pieces of some of the medical jargon that my cancer surgeon was saying to me, but for the most part, I felt lost and uncertain.  Cathi offered to talk to my doctor on my behalf and then relay that information back to me in a way that I could understand and that is exactly what she did.  Cathi gave me the confidence to conquer cancer that day!

I also again witnessed Cathi’s compassion for a fellow co-worker 3 years ago who was also diagnosed with cancer. Cathi was working as a Staff RN on our Medical/Surgical Unit when a young LPN came to work on her scheduled shift feeling sick. It was only within a few hours this young LPN was admitted to our hospital, medical testing was performed which revealed a highly suspicious diagnosis of cancer. Once again, Cathi went into action! This LPN was transferred to another Vidant Hospital, the cancer diagnosis was confirmed, and Cathi’s unrelenting drive and compassion to help others went into high gear. On her days off, Cathi would visit our sick co-worker, shower her with flowers and gifts, and all the while juggling her own work and family responsibilities.  Cathi would keep us informed and updated on our co-worker’s progress in fighting her cancer. Months later while at home, Cathi would take our co-worker on outings and assist her with errands. 

It isn’t hard to figure out why Cathi’s genuine “lead by example” character trait got the attention of key leaders at our hospital.  Cathi was soon promoted to Assistant Manager of the Medical/Surgical Unit where in addition to her managerial responsibilities, she still finds time to exemplify the true Art of Nursing. I know Cathi does not like to draw attention to herself, and she shies away from self-glory accolades, but this one time we need to shower Cathi with the honor of being an extraordinary DAISY Nurse.