Debbie Donnald

Debbie Donnald

Debbie Donnald, BSN, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Hershey, Pennsylvania
United States
Towards the end of the thirty days of treatments, the child would hold Debbie's hands as she pushed a flush of the child's mediport, as if trying to help Debbie - she truly trusted Debbie.

Debbie was recognized by a colleague in Radiation Oncology for the special connection she has with her patients. In nominating Debbie, her peer remarked:

"When we have pediatric patients and families undergoing radiation treatment, I have heard and seen Debbie's compassion in including the family and patient in the plan of care, taking the time to carefully explain the treatment plan, ensuring understanding by all."

One particular interaction sparked Debbie's co-worker to nominate her for the DAISY Award, however. The unit had to treat a toddler who had experienced trauma in her young life and needed extra-special care during treatment. The child was tearful and clung to her foster mother during the first visit, making it difficult to take vitals. Debbie's colleague shared: "As days went by, Debbie would often allow the toddler to help in her own care- assisting Debbie in picking a finger or toe for her pulse oximeter monitor and choosing an arm or leg for her blood pressure cuff. Giving a choice where choice existed allowed the child to gain trust in Debbie! Debbie would carefully disconnect the patient from IV fluids once she was awake and ready to go home, from behind the patient, while the patient chomped away on her croissant or pancakes, so as to not disrupt her much-anticipated breakfast or cause any agitation. Towards the end of the thirty days of treatments, the child would hold Debbie's hands as she pushed a flush of the child's mediport, as if trying to help Debbie - she truly trusted Debbie, and taking vitals and disconnecting IV fluids was no longer a scary experience for this child."

While Debbie's care of this one particular patient was awe-inspiring, her care of every patient meets the same high standard: "It does not matter whether the patient is 17 months old, 17 years old, or 77 years old, Debbie interacts with everyone she cares for professionally and competently. She maintains the utmost professional boundaries with our patients and their families, while still developing that special connection that comforts those who are facing some of the most difficult days, weeks, months, and years of their lives." Truly a DAISY Nurse!

Note: This is Debbie’s 2nd DAISY Award!