Neuroscience Special Care Unit

Neuroscience Special Care Unit, RN

Neuroscience Special Care Unit
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, New Hampshire
United States

“Our preference would be to nominate the entire staff of NSCU …,” wrote the father of a patient who spent the last year and a half of her life being taken care of by nursing staff in the Neurology Special Care Unit (NSCU).
Their preference was honored as the NSCU nursing staff became the first D-H unit to be awarded The DAISY Award.
“Everybody was so good to her. She was here such a long time and she had so many people take care of her,” said her brother. “We were here at all different times of the day and night. We had all different nurses, mentioned her sister. “How could you pick one? I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
During the ceremony Linda von Reyn, PhD, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at D-H, asked the staff, “What was the one thing that she never got the whole time that she was here?” After a brief pause, a chorus of “pressure ulcers” rang out. “For someone to be here for that amount of time and for the care you proved to her, you were famous in this place,” said von Reyn.
Being at her side all but two days during her stay, the family witnessed first-hand the dedication and compassion given not only to her care but to each and every one of them as well. “It was a horrific difficult time for us that was made bearable by the staff,” wrote her father. “We became friends and still think of the staff every day, and continue to communicate with them.”
She also left her mark on the nurses that cared for her. “This was the patient of a lifetime. We never know what patients are going to do to us and none of us were prepared for the changes that would happen to each of us both in our personal and professional growth in taking care of her,” said Wanda Handel, RN.
In a letter to the family, Janet Stephenson, RN, wrote about the impact she and her family had on the nursing staff. “She taught us so many things about ourselves, our capabilities as nurses, and our ability to deal with ethical issues, family issues and disagreements amongst ourselves. … She taught us how much we mean to one another and how we rely on one another when times get tough. She taught us about family, faith, hope, love and the need for humor no matter what.”
Added retired Nursing Director Donna Crowley, RN, “To me it’s what nursing is all about. To see these values that have been instilled and nurtured and cultivated over the years to get recognized. This isn’t anything that they did just for this patient. It’s what they do for every patient.”