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Extraordinary nurse recognized at VCU Health CMH

Christy Haskell, R.N.

Christy Haskell, R.N., of Amelia was recently honored at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of The DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the efforts nurses perform every day.

Haskell has worked at VCU Health CMH since January. She currently works as a contract nurse in acute care.

A patient submitted the nomination after undergoing emergency surgery. She was treated so well by Haskell that these actions earned her The DAISY Award for the third quarter of 2022.

"An angel walked into my room the day after surgery; her name was Christy," the patient said. "She was gentle, kind and patient with me, explaining what was going on and answering any questions I had. She never once sounded irritated if I used my nurse call button."

"I was shocked," Haskell said. "I've worked in many hospitals over the past four years as a travel nurse, and we were never recognized."

Travel, or contract, nurses accept a temporary assignment at a hospital for a set time frame while the hospital continues recruiting for a full-time, permanent nurse.

"I enjoyed getting to see how other health systems are run as a travel nurse, but I finally got tired of moving and settled in Amelia," Haskell said. "My family is in central Virginia, so I can see them whenever I want. My teammates work well together and treat me as part of the team. Management is very supportive, and we have such a nice, clean atmosphere here."

Haskell has 17 years of experience as a nurse, including one stint as a chief nursing officer for another health care facility. She wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl because she enjoyed helping people and it gave her a good feeling to help someone get well.

"As a kid, when a friend would fall and scrape their knee, I was the one who always took initiative to find a bandage or help someone feel better," she said.

She has great advice for other nurses.

"Treat everyone like you would your loved ones," she said. "Do your best, offer top-notch care. They deserve it regardless of who they are or their background."

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, California, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at age 33 in late 1999 from complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a little known but not uncommon autoimmune disease. The care Barnes and his family received while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.

Bonnie Barnes, CEO and co-founder of The DAISY Foundation, said, "When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced firsthand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the superhuman work they do. The kind of work the nurses at VCU Health CMH are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award."

In addition to The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 4,600 health care facilities and schools of nursing and through grant programs. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org.