For Sarah Plante, patient well-being is the most important part of being a nurse.
A registered nurse, Plante works in Bothwell Regional Health Center’s 2 Southwest medical department. On Feb. 28 she was named the most recent recipient of the hospital’s DAISY Award, which is given periodically to a nurse who best exemplifies competent and compassionate care.
Plante was nominated for the award by a patient who had recently received a life-changing diagnosis of congestive heart failure, an incurable heart condition.
“Sarah is a special person,” the patient said of Plante. “I was here for just two days, but in that time, she was not only my nurse, but my little sister, a confidant, and most of all a friend. I was feeling down about my diagnosis, but Sarah put on her superhuman cape and made me want to strive to deal with my illness.”
Plante said she loves getting to know her patients and caring for them on a professional and personal level.
“My favorite part about my job is forming relationships with my patients and their family members,” she said. “Their hospital stay is improved by having a nurse they can trust and depend on to make sure their needs are met and they are heard. I know how scary it is to be on the other side of things, and having a nurse who has your best interests at heart eases your mind and helps you focus on healing.”
The nominator said that before forming a relationship with Plante, they had seriously considered ending their life when they returned home. However, Plante provided hope.
“She probably doesn’t realize it, but Sarah saved my life,” they said. “Her attention, caring manner and just a true shining light coming from her changed my mindset. My entire life changed because she took five minutes to listen to me and my problems. Sarah is truly a godsend, and I thank God I was placed in her path.”
Bothwell Chief Nursing Officer Rose McMullin presented Plante with a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” She also received a DAISY Award pin and a sculpture called “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. Also, a DAISY Award banner recognizing her will hang on the nurses’ desk in 2 Southwest, and Plante’s name will appear on the DAISY Foundation website.
“The DAISY Award is one of the greatest honors a nurse can receive because the nomination comes from a patient or their family,” McMullin said. “Sarah is a compassionate and caring nurse. She is well-liked by her peers, and she clearly is making a difference in the lives of her patients. It’s just so gratifying to recognize our nurses for their dedication to patient care, and Sarah deserves this honor.”
Plante was inspired to become a medical-surgical nurse after her grandmother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
“I was inspired to become an RN after watching nurses care for my grandmother,” she said. “I remember the compassionate care they provided during those trying times. One of my favorite things to remember during trying days of nursing is ‘remember why you started,’ and for me, my reason was to make a difference in the lives of others. It means the world to me that a patient appreciated my care so much that they would nominate me for the DAISY Award and validates why I became a registered nurse.”
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was started in 1999 in Glen Ellen, California, by members of the family of Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 of complications from an autoimmune disease. The care his nurses provided was the inspiration for the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System).
An international award, the DAISY is awarded in more than 2,800 health care facilities in all 50 states and in 17 other countries.
Bothwell Regional Health Center began recognizing its nurses with the DAISY Award in 2018. Jessica Wheeler, Shari Thomasson, Shasta Nardi, and Courtney Rumans are previous recipients.