Deb Kraus

Deb Kraus, RN

Hospice Support Team
Hospice of Cincinnati and Hospice of Hamilton
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States

The DAISY Award is given in recognition of extraordinary nurses - Deb definitely falls into that category. Deb has been a member of the Support Team at Hospice of Cincinnati for six years. The support team covers over 600 home and long term care patients (4 pm – 8 am) Monday thru Friday and 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday. The greater Cincinnati area is divided into north, south, east and west. An RN is assigned to make visits in his/her area under the guidance of the Triage nurse.
Deb works the triage desk every weekend, 12 hours a day – manning 2 phones (constantly ringing) a beeper (constantly beeping), assigning visits to and keeping track of the field nurses. Deb has an amazing amount of knowledge making this job look easy. The list of the triage nurse’s responsibilities is unending. It requires amazing organizational skills – handling up to 90 incoming call a day – and each of these calls require return calls to patients, field nurse’s IPU’s Continuous Care, Admissions, partners, doctors and the list goes on. The triage nurse provides teaching to the patient’s care giver. Deb is one of the best; patient teaching step by step what meds to give, checking labels and dosages, how to administer an provides reassurance that they are doing it correctly.
One patient’s husband asked, “How does that nurse know exactly what I should do to help my wife and she can’t even see us – amazing!
Of all Deb’s accomplishments, Sept. 13, 2008 stands out. Cincinnati was hit with unexpected hurricane force winds. The city was devastated; no power, no gas, no groceries, no drug stores. Our patients’ were without air conditioning and even worse, oxygen. Telephone communication was limited. Power lines and trees were everywhere – making access difficult or impossible. As always, Deb remained calm keeping a chaotic situation under control. With Deb’s guidance and hard work from the support team, everything needed to handle patient care was moved down to the first floor in the Blue Ash IPU. Oxygen tanks were delivered to all patient’s who needed it by therapy support. Field nurses continued to make necessary visits. The phone calls from panicking families were coming in at an unbelievable rate – much faster than they could be answered. Eventually, all of the patient’s questions had been answered and problem solved. The Support Team had worked together and accomplished the “impossible.”
Debs co-workers had these comments to add to her nomination:
--- Deb helps us get thru an enormous amount of sticky situations
--- She’s the cat’s meow.
--- Deb does a 2 person job for 12 hours a day and still comes back!
--- Deb has all of the answers – or will find them.
--- Never calls off
--- Deb is dedicated to the staff and their safety. She always knows where the field nurses are and will not leave at the end of the day, until she is sure about everyone’s safety.
--- Deb truly cares about the patients and makes sure the nurses have all the information needed to walk into a patient’s home with confidence, knowing Deb is there for you.
--- Deb has worked her 12 hours, only to get home and be asked to cover the phones (because all nurses are making visits). Never a complaint from Deb.
---Deb deserves this award!
One nurse summed it up perfectly. “I don’t know how Deb does it. Her job is almost always crazy. The most important thing Deb does, she always looks out for our safety. She is very protective and would never put us in an unsafe situation. Deb is an advocate for patients and nurses. She is always open to suggestions and advice, able to manage “life and death’ situations at any given moment. I appreciate Deb’s expertise immensely! Thanks Deb for all that you do !!!! – You’re the best.”