Tonya Showalter
December 2022
Emergency Department
UVA Medical Center
United States




Tonya represents what the ideal nurse should be: clinically astute, caring, and kind.
Tonya was my nurse during my stay in the Emergency Department. Tonya was nothing short of exceptional and extraordinary in the care she provided to me and my husband during our time in the department. On arrival, she did everything to make me comfortable while also attending to my clinical needs. Tonya honored my modesty and privacy in the department but also was highly attentive to my need for oxygen and monitoring. She pulled the curtain and door closed and took her time to explain all that she was doing. I needed a large bore IV for my cat scan. After her assessment, Tonya acknowledged that obtaining this IV access would be challenging. Rather than subject me to failed IV stick attempts and pain, Tonya sought out a fellow team member who is highly skilled in initiating IVs who was able to get the necessary access on his first try.

The admitting team resident wanted to trial me on room air and turned off my oxygen with the plan to recheck in 10 minutes. Other patients in the department pulled the resident away and they were very delayed in coming back to check on me. Tonya recognized that my oxygen saturation was low and reinitiated oxygen delivery as it was needed. After my cat scan was completed, Tonya followed up with me to see if the doctor had informed me of the results. When I told her that I did not know what the cat scan showed, Tonya immediately sought out the resident and had them come to share the cat scan results and plan for admission and treatment.

My inpatient bed was ready at change of shift. I watched as Tonya repeatedly called the receiving unit to provide handoff. She was persistent in delivering handover of care prior to leaving at the end of her shift rather than having the oncoming ED RN give handoff who hadn't cared for me or knew of my clinical course. As a result, Tonya stayed over late past her shift to deliver handover of care and transport me to my inpatient room (despite my urging her to go home after a hard and long day's work).

These specific examples may seem like small things but go such a long way when you are scared and feeling vulnerable as a patient in the hospital. Every single interaction with Tonya made me feel comfortable and at ease during a scary time in my life. I know how busy she was in the ED but whenever she was in my room she took her time, addressed any and all needs, and made me feel like I was her only patient. Tonya is a DAISY Nurse for the exceptional care she provides to all of her patients. Tonya represents what the ideal nurse should be: clinically astute, caring, and kind. I will be forever grateful for the care she provided to me and hope that she is celebrated for being a phenomenal UVA nurse!