Kristen Nall, BSN, RN is being honored with the DAISY Award for going above and beyond for the patients and families she cared for while practicing on the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit.
Kristen was nominated by a patient’s daughter who called Kristen “an angel of mercy” in caring for her dad during his final battle with cancer. Kristen was so gifted at relating to him and so gentle that he would attempt anything she would ask, the nominator said. On one memorable occasion, Physical Therapy came to get him up to sit in the bedside chair because of his worsening pneumonia and without even opening his eyes, he just shook his head, “No.” The daughter was discouraged that he was losing so much strength and went to talk to Kristen about it. Kristen told the father that she would use the lift over his bed to move him to the chair and he immediately replied, “O.K.” The daughter left the room as they prepared for the move and when she came back, he was walking to the chair after not having walked in three days! He sat up – smiling all the while – for over an hour and a half, then walked back to the bed.
The daughter said that what really impressed her about Kristen was not that she cared so well for her dad, but that she could hear Kristen in other patient’s rooms and she had the same gentle, but effective manner with each of them. There was a woman next door to her dad for several days that seemed to suffer from dementia as her bed alarm would blare constantly as she continually tried to get out of bed unassisted. Each time the alarm sounded, Kristen would assist this patient, and the nominator overheard Kristen explain to the patient each time why she must remain in the bed. Kristen never once sounded perturbed or impatient with her, the nominator said.
When the nominator’s dad suffered a stroke and was moved floors, Kristen came to visit him; and when they decided to stop treatment, they found Kristen to let her know they were going home. When the father passed away at home with hospice, the daughter texted Kristen to let her know. Kristen asked if the family would mind if she attended the memorial service, and on that day, she was there grieving their loss with them. The daughter said Kristen became more than a caregiver to their family, she is a true friend.
Because of Kristen’s compassionate and caring efforts, her patients experience a level of care that exemplifies the impact nurses have in creating an environment where patients and families feel at home.