LIMA — Nursing can often be a thankless job, with long, sometimes grueling hours of helping patients and families at times when they are most vulnerable. On Thursday, however, one emergency room nurse at Lima Memorial Health Systems was recognized for her service.
Registered Nurse Shelly Kaufman, a 41-year Lima Memorial employee, was “ambushed” at the emergency room nurses’ station with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses Thursday, complete with balloons, a certificate, a unique African sculpture representing healing and even cinnamon rolls.
“I was stunned, actually,” Kaufman said. “I was overwhelmed by all the people, but it touches my heart that someone nominated me for it because I do take a lot of pride in patient care.”
The DAISY Foundation is a California-based non-profit foundation aimed at honoring nurses for the work they do, and for Lima Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Ann Pohl, the praise is well-deserved for Kaufman.
“This is about helping nurses see themselves as patients and families see them and the powerful difference they make with their compassionate, caring behaviors,” she said, “Shelly exhibits that on a daily basis. She sees lots of different types of patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and she never forgets that compassionate care.”
Kaufman’s nomination form noted that, among the many examples of her exemplary care, she “stopped to pray with a patient to overcome her disease of addiction. We usually never find out how people are doing unless they come back worse, but in this case, the patient returned with a friend who was a patient. She saw Shelly and thanked her. She had been drug free for three months.”
For Kaufman, being a nurse is a calling and privilege.
“I’m really lucky that I get paid to help other people,” she said. “It does come back on you and you do get a reward yourself. You really do find Jesus in the people you take care of, and it comes back as a reward to you. I feel really blessed that I’ve had my health where I can take care of people. Everyone you take care of, it really comes back to you as a reward.”
Lima Memorial hopes to “ambush” a second unsuspecting nurse in the near future.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.