CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Tamra Decker, a registered nurse at Southeast Hospital’s Neurosciences Unit, is the recipient of the DAISY Award of Extraordinary Nurses. She is the first at Southeast Hospital to receive the international recognition.
The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. It was 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 a little known auto-immune disease.
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.
The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the exceptional, compassionate care that nurses provide patients and their families every day.
Nurses may be nominated by colleagues, patients and families. The award recipient is chosen by a committee at SoutheastHEALTH.
The award comes with a certificate of commendation, a DAISY Award pin and a hand carved sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch” by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.
There were 39 total DAISY Award nominations for the quarter, which ended September 30. The next DAISY Award recipient will be announced in January 2020.
Decker received two nominations for the DAISY Award.
One nomination came from the wife of one of Decker’s patients. Her name is Dawn.
“My 53-year-old husband was a patient on the Neurosciences Unit at Southeast Hospital for four months. There were many ups and downs during his stay. I have never been through an ordeal as serious as this. During this time, Tamra was always available to me. She always made sure I understood the care my husband was getting and made sure that I was able to be involved with his care because she could see that I need to help be his caregiver. She explained trach care to me and showed me how to properly turn him.”
“My husband was in a lethargic state and could not respond. Tamra always addressed him when she was caring for him. It was very important to her that she got to know him. She asked one day, ‘What was he like before he got sick?’ That meant so much to me. When one day he started to respond, Tamra cried tears of joy with me.
“Tamra was always ready to give a hug, say a prayer or even bring me a snack. Her love for patients and their families is so evident. I continue to sing her praises. You could not find another nurse that embodies all of the DAISY criteria.”
SoutheastHEALTH Chief Nursing Officer, Gina Leath, presented the DAISY award to Decker. Leath expressed the organization’s gratitude to nurses who give amazing care every day.
Southeast President and CEO Ken Bateman added, “Tamra embodies everything we want in our nurses – exceptional care.”
“This is amazing," Tamra Deck said. "Thank you so much. I’ve been here a very long time. I left for a while, but came back for one reason – the spirit here. This is home and always will be. Patients put their lives in our hands every day. We must always be mindful of that.”