I have never encountered any nurse more compassionate and nurturing than Daphne Dennis. As a bedside nurse for over forty years, the number of lives Daphne has touched is innumerable. Her empathy and professionalism towards her patients and her fellow employees has been a model for other nurses to strive to become. She is truly Florence Nightingale walking amongst us.
I could nominate Daphne every day for this award based on some act of empathy and compassion she performed during her work day. To pinpoint one specific story is a difficult task. Over the years, I have grown more and more amazed of her passion to preserve human dignity. I first realized this as a new nurse when I had just finished orientation.
There was one patient at the end of her life on comfort measures and a morphine drip. When the cardiac monitor was reading her heart rate slowing and her family was no longer at the bedside, Daphne silently slipped into her room to be with the patient during her final moments. As the patient took her last breaths, Daphne gingerly stroked the patient’s forehead and spoke the gentlest words to her as she slipped away. In that peaceful and beautiful moment, Daphne taught me the beauty within nursing.
More recently, a very sick patient coded for a long time and unfortunately did not survive. While everyone else involved in the code was exhausted and quickly left the room, Daphne stayed to help the patient’s primary nurse clean the patient before his family entered so that the patient’s dignity could be preserved even after death. Although most of her stories go unnoticed, they truly make a difference in someones’ eyes.
Daphnes’s loving actions are constantly reminding us why we entered the healthcare field. She has the highest respect of everyone she encounters. More than once I have witnessed her providing guidance and support to resident physicians about patients. She is known throughout the hospital for her exceptional and meticulous care. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the DAISY award than Daphne Dennis. Her nursing career has been a beautiful journey and has been truly inspirational to all.