Gerber Memorial nurse recognized for helping plan an unplanned hospital wedding for patient
FREMONT – As a wedding destination, most people might put Las Vegas on the list, or closer to home, The Shack, Camp Newaygo or the red barn in Fremont.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, not so much.
But if you’re a patient and you won’t be discharged in time for your wedding, you want a nurse like Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Amy Smith, RN, helping you come up with a Plan B.
In summer 2019, Smith helped care for a patient in Gerber Memorial’s emergency department. To help ensure some procedures were done correctly, Smith stayed an extra three hours past her shift to make sure the patient was properly cared for. Before her unplanned trip to the emergency department, the bride-to-be had just come from her wedding rehearsal. The wedding was the next day, and her condition required her to stay at Gerber Memorial – and miss her own wedding. Smith had to break the news to her.
What Smith did next shows why she received the DAISY Award recognizing exceptional nursing care.
“Amy stayed to calm her down and then went on to help us plan a quiet but AMAZING courtyard wedding on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 3. Amy was a blessing to all of us!” read the entry nominating Smith for the DAISY award. The small wedding was held amid the flowers, shrubs and rock arrangements of Gerber Memorial’s Healing Garden, which is located just west of the main lobby.
“I feel honored to receive a DAISY Award, but even more honored that I could help the patient and her family keep their wedding date,” Smith said. “Being a nurse gives me the opportunity to connect with people at a deeply personal level and be there for them during their moment of greatest need. Getting the DAISY gives us validation, especially in an area where we experience a lot of trauma, that we made a positive difference in somebody’s life because so many of our patients make a difference in ours.”
Colleagues surprised Smith, a resident of Newaygo, with her award on Feb. 20. She has been a nurse in the emergency department since she started at Gerber Memorial in 2015.
As a DAISY Award honoree, Smith received a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree also receives a beautiful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved from serpentine stone by artists of the Shona tribe in southern Africa.
Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Gerber Memorial to receive the award.
Part of a national program, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
Nomination forms are available at nursing stations throughout the hospital and patients can submit those forms either by placing them in gray boxes near those forms or by handing them to a nurse or other hospital staff. Nominating forms will also be available at the hospital’s main lobby, as well as included in admission packets.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
For more information about The DAISY Award and the Foundation’s other recognition of nurses, faculty and students, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.
Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians, and associates are encouraged to nominate a deserving nurse by filling out the nomination form at reception located at the main hospital entrance. Completed forms can be dropped off or emailed to email@example.com.