Finding Inspiration Through Our Patients

"Our patients reward us with more than we could possibly give to them."

I love what I do for a living. How many people are able to say that and actually mean it? I consider myself one of the lucky few because I am a nurse at Roswell Park.

The patients that my colleagues and I care for on a daily basis reward us with more than we could possibly give to them. They show us how to be strong, brave and courageous while we do our best to provide them with excellent care.

I almost didn’t become a nurse. My initial career path led me to paralegal studies, followed by a job at a bank doing debt collections. In my heart, I felt I needed to pursue something that would have more of an impact on society and enrolled in nursing school.

During my final semester at Trocaire College, I had the opportunity to do a clinical rotation on 7 East with patients recovering from head and neck surgery. I knew immediately this was the place for me. Working with outpatients in the GYN clinic, my team and I continue to be rewarded and inspired by incredible patients and families.

All of our patients are very special, but I’ll never forget the woman who nominated me for the DAISY Award, an international program that celebrates compassionate care given by nurses. She was scheduled for surgery at Roswell Park immediately after learning her diagnosis. Predictably, she was scared, nervous and in need of support. I tried my very best to provide that to her, knowing full well she wasn’t going to remember many of the details I was giving her regarding upcoming surgery. She was only going to remember how I responded to her. I did my very best to comfort her during a tumultuous time.

I recently saw her again on September 30, 2014 when I received the DAISY Award. It was only then that I discovered she was the patient who nominated me for the honor. I can’t even describe how it feels, hearing someone say, “I appreciated what you did for me.” We’re all just trying to do our best here. We just try to provide good, quality care for our patients.

I want to stress that no one nurse is an island at Roswell Park. We work as a team and it allows us to provide the level of compassionate care that our patients have come to appreciate. The DAISY Award isn’t about just one person; it’s about my fellow nurses. We’re there for each other and it makes all the difference.