Wendy Dunnagan

Wendy Dunnagan

Wendy Dunnagan, RN

Telemetry
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
Santa Rosa, California
United States
Wendy takes the time to find out about her patients, finding small things that might make their hospital stay more enjoyable.

We recently had a patient admitted for symptomatic VT. When Wendy entered her room, the patient was in tears. Not just any kind of tears but the big messy, full body crying tears. Wendy had no idea why she was crying and sat down next to her bed, reached out and held her hand. Wendy asked if she was okay, in pain and what could she do for her. She told Wendy she was not in pain, but she was mad at herself for being sick. She explained her whole life story of how she's been taking care of her sick husband and just when he was betting better, she got sick. She had bad experiences with different doctors and was fearful of the hospital. She revealed that her coping mechanism was to draw, she is very talented artist, and when she started feeling sick she felt she could not even draw anymore. They sat, talking together, both laughing and crying. Wendy went to the nurse's station and found paper and any color pens she could find and brought them to the patient. It was not much but it was enough to start helping her heal.

During her stay, Wendy encouraged her to have family bring in pens she liked and to create her art while she was resting in bed, and most importantly to talk to her family about her stress and what was going on with her heart. This patient still contacts Wendy and reports that she has had some bumps through the course of her treatment but has come out on top. Looking for something as small as pens and paper doesn't seem like a lot, but I know for a fact that it helped make all the difference to this patient. I felt this interaction renewed and refocused Wendy on being a nurse and setting new goals for herself. She takes the time to find out about her patients, finding small things that might make their hospital stay more enjoyable. This is just one of the lives of the many people that Wendy has touched over the years. It is for this and the others that she should be honored with the DAISY Award.