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A Calming Influence for a New Mother

Paige LaDuke, BSN, RN Honored With DAISY Award

A nurse’s calm, cool and collected demeanor helped deliver a highly positive birthing experience for a North Country mother. And that is why Paige LaDuke, BSN, RN, C-EFM is being celebrated as The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital’s (CVPH) 16th DAISY Award recipient.

Making connections is a big part of what CVPH nurses do to help patients through some of the most worrisome moments of their lives. While giving birth is an exciting time for any mother-to-be, there are moments throughout the experience that can bring anxiety and even fear. For Maya Mason-Hilt, those feelings were quickly overcome because of the care and attention she received from LaDuke during her time in the Alice T. Miner Women and Children’s Center (WCC).

In her nomination, Mason-Hilt wrote, “Paige was so personable and made us feel so at ease and comfortable with our entire experience.”

Easing a Patient's Concerns

One of Mason-Hilt’s biggest concerns, like many women preparing to give birth, is the administration of the epidural. LaDuke, who has been with the hospital for more than three years, understood this and decided one of the best ways to help her patient through the experience was education.

This made a tremendous difference for Mason-Hilt.

“During my spinal, she calmly walked me through every step that the doctor was doing and made me feel at ease. This was the part I was dreading the most, and because of Paige, it was a walk in the park.”

- Maya Mason-Hilt, Patient

Disa Seymour, MS, RNC-MNN, RNC-LRN, Nurse Manager for the WCC, knows how important education is to LaDuke, adding, “Paige is constantly working to expand her knowledge, learning and growing in skill and practice. She looks for opportunities to teach others on her team, and seeks information to provide the best care possible to her patients. While caring for two children at home, Paige still comes to work ready to do her best, teaches part time and is working on her master’s degree.”

Making a Connection

In addition to explanations and education, Mason-Hilt praised LaDuke for making her feel comfortable and calm in the Operating Room during her C-section. And their connection was also noticeable after surgery, during postpartum care.

“We saw her every day, and she always made time to stay and talk to us for a little while,” the new mom wrote. “We honestly forgot we were staying at the hospital. She not only made myself and our newborn feel comfortable, but my fiancé as well, which is huge because I feel like sometimes the dads are forgotten during this experience.”

In the end, Mason-Hilt was able to leave CVPH with a memorable experience of bringing a new bundle of joy into the world, and she remains grateful to LaDuke for that.

“Paige is definitely a huge asset to both the Labor and Delivery and Postpartum departments and to the hospital as a whole,” Mason-Hilt concluded.

“She definitely has a big heart with big aspirations and plans for a bright future! She is very deserving of this award as she always puts her patients first,” Seymour added.

During a surprise ceremony with the WCC team, LaDuke 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 care licensed nurses provide to 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 on the DAISY Foundation website.