Donna McCune
July 2015
Family Birthing Center
Kittitas Valley Healthcare
United States




One of the most difficult balances to maintain in nursing is the balance between focusing on the care, and focusing on the patient. Addressing a patient's medical needs, and addressing their personal needs. It is sometimes a balance that is taken for granted, but it is not something that is easy to master. Because of this, when someone is able to give both exemplary care and bedside manner, it is important to acknowledge them.

On November 9th an expecting mother began labor and complications began to arise. During the delivery the team needed to resort to a C-section. The situation became dire after the newborn ended up developing respiratory distress syndrome, and needed to be transported to the NICU in Yakima. As you can imagine, the situation was very stressful with the family having to deal with a post C-section mother, and a newborn with complications.

Fortunately for the patient and her family, Donna McCune was on the delivery team. The family's gratitude was detailed in a letter to the Family Birthing Center. A letter was written to the FBC from the mother of the patient, and the grandmother of the newborn:

"Facing the transfer of your infant to a NICU before you ever have a chance to hold her was unavoidably traumatic, but the anticipatory guidance that Donna provided to the mother (my daughter) and me was clear, sensitive to her ability to take in information in the post-C-section recovery period, and invaluable. I saw you pace your conversation to her ability to understand a great deal of information in a short period of time and take time to respond to questions despite the fact that there was another patient in labor at the same time.

I spent several hours with Donna as she provided continuous respiratory support, constant assessment far beyond the monitor data, and communication to both the pediatrician and Yakima to structure the transport to the NICU when it became evident that the infant could not stabilize her respiratory function and was becoming exhausted trying to breath. It was clear that Donna was anticipating the infant's trajectory and imagining the transfer preparations long before they were needed. Although I am a health professional, I was clearly a family member in this situation and was extremely grateful for your support."

In addition to her skills as a nurse, Donna's clinical expertise served as a source of comfort to the family, by communicating the details of the situation and how it was being handled, and even allowing some of the family members to participate in the care. Donna's level of care exemplifies what it is to be a nurse. Donna has mastered that difficult task of finding that balance of care and communication, and has earned the DAISY Award for her excellent nursing skills.