Guardian Angels Among Us
In June 2020, Richard Hill was on a camping trip with his wife, soaking up the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, when he became ill with a terrible stomachache. When he came to LeConte Medical Center’s emergency department, he was having difficulty breathing and was admitted to LeConte’s intensive care unit where he tested positive for COVID-19. He stayed for 10 days before becoming well enough to travel home to South Carolina.
Among his team of caregivers was Terina Shultz, RN. “I have never in my life experienced the kind of care, thoughtfulness, compassion, professionalism and friendship from anyone other than a family member that Mrs. Shultz showed me,” says Hill. “I believe she helped me get through this horrible experience just as much as all the medications I was given.” He nominated her for special recognition before leaving.
Shultz has been an ICU nurse for 19 years and specializes in neurological conditions. She says, “Early on during COVID is when I had the pleasure of meeting my patient that nominated me for The DAISY Award. He was an amazing patient, and he was so grateful for everything despite being so sick.”
Going Above and Beyond
Hill says Shultz went above and beyond her duties to care for him during a vulnerable time. Shultz brought his favorite juice to keep him hydrated and toiletries to feel comfortable. Hill had only packed clothes for a three-day camping trip, and he was amazed that a “stranger” would purchase deodorant, a toothbrush and mouthwash out of her own pocket. The nurse even brought in razors and helped him shave, giving him a sense of cleanliness and normalcy, despite being so sick. “Mrs. Shultz made me feel so much better with just her words of encouragement,” he recalls. Hill was so sick, there were times he wasn’t sure if he’d make it back home. “The way she encouraged me, it helped as much as anything else that was done for me. She kept my wife informed of everything, which was a blessing, since she couldn’t be there with me.”
Celebrating and Giving Hope
Charlie Mullins, RN, critical care nurse manager and Shultz’s supervisor describes the past 18 months as an emotional roller coaster. “Letters of gratitude are a welcome part of our job. The ICU nurses at LeConte are fierce, compassionate teachers. They are lovers of life, leaders, and the best nurses in the world. “They maintain exceptional standards of care for their patients by spending extra hours talking to family members, simply to help them understand the situation their loved one is in. For Terina, it’s buying deodorant or remembering her patient’s favorite juice and bringing those items to him, and not accepting anything in return.”
Sweet as a DAISY
Hill recognized Shultz’s extraordinary care and compassion by nominating her for The DAISY Award, an international program to recognize outstanding performance, compassion and service given by dedicated registered nurses. Shultz says, “Being nominated and selected to receive The DAISY Award has been a very humbling experience. I feel so honored after all these years of nursing that I was selected to receive this amazing honor for simply doing what I love.” Shultz was presented with a certificate, a pin, The Healer’s Touch sculpture and a daisy floral arrangement. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues. Recipients are selected by a committee at LeConte Medical Center to receive The DAISY Award.
To nominate a nurse for this award, visit LeConteMedicalCenter.com/Daisy.