Lucie Kerwood’s maternal connections to patients earn her quarterly Daisy Award
You’re about to become a new mother. Emotions are running high during delivery – excitement, anxiety, fear, all coming together to create a heightened state at a particularly vulnerable time in your life.
Your husband is there offering encouragement and support, but because of visitor restrictions made necessary by COVID-19, your mother can’t be at your bedside. When it comes time to get an epidural, you start to cry over her absence.
That was the situation in which one mother found herself during the latter part of 2021. She found her salvation in the loving care of Adena nurse Lucie Kerwood, who was honored Wednesday for her work with the prestigious quarterly Daisy Award.
“My nurse saw the fear and tears and hugged me and talked me through every step,” the mother said in nominating Lucie for the honor. “She instantly became that mother figure I so badly needed. She stepped up in a way I cannot explain. She wiped my tears, held me and whispered in my ear about how strong I was and how I could do it.
“During delivery, she held my leg while I pushed, patted away my tears with a tissue as they fell from my face and never let me forget that I was doing a great job and she was so proud of me. She even took pictures of us as a family that I am so very thankful for now. She is a complete stranger, yes, but in those long hours that she catered to my every need, she meant the world to me. She truly makes a difference at work, and I appreciate her more than she will ever know!”
Chief Nursing Officer Molly Grooms said the relationship between nurses and their patients has been critical throughout the Health System during the pandemic, particularly at the height of visitation restrictions. For those giving birth, however, it may have had some additional significance.
“When you are having a child and visitation guidelines dictated that families could only have one person here, sharing that moment was a little bit difficult,” she said. “I think this speaks to how our nurses have really stepped in, not only making sure that patients get the appropriate care, but filling the void of a family member a lot of times.”
The Daisy Award is recognized internationally as a mark of extraordinary nursing care and has been adopted by health systems around the globe as a way of honoring their caregivers. For her selection, Lucie received a special pin for her employee badge, a hand-carved Healer’s Touch sculpture signed by the artist in Zimbabwe, a bouquet of daisies and a box of cinnamon rolls to share with her colleagues. A recognition banner will also be hung in her unit throughout the quarter until the next Daisy Award recipient is selected.
After the reading of the patient’s nomination and the announcement that she was the recipient, Lucie’s hands flew to her face and her eyes teared up, the only words coming out being “Are you serious?” The tears, she later said, can come with the emotions of the job.
“You go through so many things with them and you cry sometimes,” she said. “I’ve cried with people having babies who have tried to get pregnant for so long and this is their miracle baby and then you see the dad cry. I think there’s nothing wrong with crying with them, but you have to keep your feelings in check sometimes.”
Lucie said she had always wanted to become a nurse in Obstetrics, but earlier in her life, other circumstances kept getting in the way. As her children got older, however, she had the opportunity to work at a nursing assistant until she got her nursing license in 2007. She has been with Adena since January of 2021.
Her approach has always been to treat all of her patients the same, with the standard being how she would like members of her own family to be treated. She also brings her experience as a mother to bear with patients under her care.
“It’s scary from that end,” she said of expectant mothers. “I’ve had three children and I know how it is – even after multiple times having a baby, it’s still a very scary and vulnerable time. That’s especially true when they can’t have their mom in the room, that’s heartbreaking. It’s not always like that, but most people want their mom to be there.”
Receiving the Daisy Award only validated her decision to do what she does helping people through one of the most important days of their lives.
“I love labor and delivery,” she said. “There’s nothing else I ever want to do – I don’t want to leave and I don’t want to manage or do anything like that. I love bedside patient care and being there for my miracles every day.
“It’s a wonderful job. Where else do you get to see a miracle and help be involved in a miracle every single day?”
Adena patients may nominate a deserving nurse for a quarterly Daisy Award, with the deadline for nominations covering the first quarter of 2022 due by March 31. For more information on nominating a nurse, please contact Jenna Yoakum at 740-779-8061.