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A Bond is Born

Nurse Honored with DAISY Award for Care of Fellow RN

Caring for our patients and each other is the theme behind CVPH’s newest DAISY Award winner, Melissa Hamel, RNC-OB, C-EFM. Melissa was surprised with the award during a ceremony at the Alice T. Miner Women and Children’s Center at CVPH.

As a nurse in the Women and Children’s Center, you never know what’s going to walk in the door. For Melissa on one day in April, it turned out to be a bond that she and her patient will never forget.

One of the reasons behind that is her patient turned out to be a colleague: Hannah Sayward, BSN, RN, who works in Palliative Care at CVPH.

Hannah arrived at the hospital in labor with her second daughter. While her first daughter had been born by Cesarean delivery, she was hoping to have a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) for her second child.

Hannah Sayward (left) celebrates
Melissa Hamel's DAISY Award

In her nomination of Melissa, Hannah described the large amount of fear and anxiety she was feeling as she was admitted. Labor with her first daughter was very complicated, and the birth of her second daughter would happen in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19 cases in Clinton County. But, Hannah said she was almost immediately put at ease thanks to the care and compassion of her nurse.

“Melissa was so compassionate and confident and easily listened to every concern and worry I had, no matter how small,” Hannah wrote in her nomination letter. “Not only did she validate my concerns, she was an amazing advocate for me.”

Disa Seymour, MS, RNC-MNN, RNC-LRN, who is the director of the Alice T. Miner Women and Children’s Center, was not surprised at all to hear that high praise about Melissa, a 20-year veteran at the hospital.

“Her calming nature and pleasant disposition are absolute assets while caring for patients. Whether it is a laboring mom or a newborn, Melissa is extremely caring and goes above and beyond to make each patient’s experience the best it can possibly be.”

While Melissa was able to help ease many of Hannah’s fears and concerns, there were still challenges ahead. Hannah noted that even when things became difficult, Melissa did not leave her side.

“She continuously kept trying and trouble-shooting until something was found that worked,” Hannah remembered. “I feel very strongly that without Melissa, I would not have had a successful VBAC, and for that I will be forever thankful.”

Hannah is well-versed in providing care to patients. She has been a nurse for more than a decade, and as mentioned before, works in Palliative Care at CVPH. Still, she admitted learning a great deal from Melissa while being on the other side of the bed. Hannah praised Melissa for being clinically strong and for having a knack of knowing when to have a quiet presence and when to ensure her voice was heard.

In the end, Melissa helped Hannah deliver a healthy baby girl. After taking time off to enjoy time with the newest addition to her family, Hannah has returned to her work as a registered nurse at the hospital. The entire experience also helped her reflect on the ability that she and every nurse has to make a difference in the lives of every patient.

“I’m sure that everything you did for me was just something you do every single day,” Hannah said as she struggled to keep the tears from flowing while reading her nomination letter to Melissa during the DAISY award ceremony. “But that’s what made it feel so important. Thank you. Thank you so much.”

Melissa was presented with a certificate commending her as an extraordinary nurse. She, like all honorees, also received a DAISY Award pin and a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” which is hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

CVPH launched the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses in 2018 as a way to recognize and reward licensed nurses for making a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients. Nomination forms and boxes are located at each of the hospital’s main entrances and on the CVPH website. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. A committee reviews nominations and awards a deserving nurse each quarter.

The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care they provide patients and families every day. The DAISY Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.)  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org.