Helping Patients Feel at Home

Elizabeth Trudeau, RN Honored With DAISY Award

Spending extended time in the hospital is tough on many patients. In the case of Caitlyn Perham, she just wanted to be home with her dogs. Enter Elizabeth Trudeau, BSN, RN, who Perham says made the hospital feel like a second home. That is why Trudeau is the newest recipient of the DAISY Award at The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH).

Perham nominated Trudeau after spending more than a week at CVPH receiving care.

“Elizabeth helped me get through it with her smile and respectfulness every day,” Perham recalls in her nomination letter. “She made me feel like I wasn’t in the hospital as much as she could. I truly appreciate and respect her for that.”

She also notes that Trudeau provided great care for her family and friends whenever they came to visit, adding that the second year nurse always made sure visitors were comfortable and had everything they needed.

“Elizabeth even went above and beyond to help me have a talk with my friend’s daughter and printed information out for me,” Perham writes.

When it came to pain management, Trudeau was on top of her game there, as well, according to Perham.

“She always made sure I was comfortable and helped me find ways to help with pain other than medication. I had high blood pressure, and she always was concerned and got on the phone with the doctor to see if she could give me my blood pressure meds early,” she says.

Trudeau, known as “Lizzie” by her colleagues on R5, has continued to learn and grow professionally since joining the team as a graduate nurse in August 2022. And she is helping educate co-workers. Trudeau attended an Oncology Nursing Society Congress conference earlier this year, bringing back information to collaborate with Jill Kanaly-Demers from Palliative Care to present a Lunch and Learn regarding health care proxies and filling out Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms.

“Lizzie’s selfless support for her patients is praiseworthy, whether she is working to save a life or provide comfort at the end of life. She consistently puts her patients first. Lizzie was made to be a nurse. Her patients, their families and our community are lucky to have her,” says CVPH Nurse Manager Nicole Daniels, RN.

“You can tell she is the type of person who is here because she loves people and loves taking care of people,” Perham adds.

During a surprise ceremony with the Med/Surg and Oncology team on R5, Trudeau 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. This year, the hospital has added DAISY Awards to recognize nurse leaders and nurse-led teams. 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 staff nurse each quarter, a nurse leader twice a year and a nurse-led team annually.

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.