Going Above and Beyond in the IMCU

Pictured: Sara Schneller, RN, AAS, & Ashley Keppel, AS, RN, BSN

"We just didn’t want her to be alone."

Over the years, I’ve witnessed my nursing colleagues at Roswell Park receive well-deserved recognition and acclaim in the form of the DAISY Award. This award signifies the exceptional care given by our nurses to our incredible patients. Many times, the patient in question is responsible for nominating his or her nurse for DAISY honors.

I am very proud to now call myself a DAISY Award recipient — however I was not nominated by one of my patients.

In 6 East, also known as the Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU), we treat critical care patients. Considered a sister facility of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the IMCU typically treats patients following an operation. In the absolute best-case scenario, patients show steady progress and will eventually go home. Words can’t express how rewarding it is to watch a critical patient gain the ability to once again walk and talk.

The reality, however, is that not all of our patients in the IMCU share that experience.

Recently, it became clear that a patient of ours was not going to survive. The patient’s family was not present, but Sara Schneller, my colleague and fellow DAISY recipient, were determined not to let her pass alone. We knew that the patient held a deep Catholic faith so we each played the Rosary prayer through our phones at her bedside. We also took shifts on and off throughout the night, one of us always by her side, holding her hand. My supervisor noticed this and sent in a DAISY nomination on our behalf.

At the time, I didn’t really consider our actions to be considered as going above and beyond. We just didn’t want her to be alone.

Winning this award means so much to me, including on a personal level. My mother recently spent months in a care facility and I got to see first-hand what excellent nursing can mean not only to a patient, but also to family members. One nurse in particular provided my mother with excellent care. She made such an impression on me, I remember wondering if she had ever won the DAISY Award.

To think that someone could have felt the same way about me, shared the same emotions, is overwhelming. My supervisor thought Sara and I deserved this award and that means more than words can say. At Roswell Park, our nurses consider each other family. In my opinion, the care given by our nursing staff at Roswell Park is among the very best. I’m so happy to be a part of this special place, and am humbled to receive this great honor.