Working as a critical care nurse in South County Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Christine Sarza, RN enjoys providing compassionate care and support to patients and their families who are experiencing a stressful and scary time of their lives. After caring for one of those patients, her willingness to go the “extra mile” was recognized by the patient’s family who nominated her for the prestigious DAISY Award.
On May 13, 2022, Christine’s dedication to the nursing profession was celebrated among her colleagues and members of the Senior Leadership Team when she received a bouquet of daisies, A Healer’s Touch statuette, and a platter of cinnamon buns to share with her unit, a DAISY tradition.
In her nomination, the patient’s daughter recognized Christine’s unique ability to treat each patient with kindness, caring, and compassion.
“Chris Sarza was my mother’s nurse,” the nomination read. “My mother was very, very sick and not responding at this time. Chris came into the room, greeted her, took excellent care of her and always went the extra mile.
My mother was on so many medications so Chris was constantly in and out of the room checking on things. Chris also made time to clean her up, put on a fresh johnny and clean her hair from the multiple EEGs.
Also, she answered all my questions and always kept me up-to-date on what was going on.
I certainly know that my mother was not Chris’ only patient; but she treated my mother like she was. There are many good nurses at South County Hospital, I met a lot of them due to my mother’s condition. However, I wanted you to know that Chris really stood out from the rest.
She was so kind, caring and compassionate. I will never forget the extreme kindness she showed to my mother and our family. To me, Chris is an example of a person loving what they do. She was truly meant to be a nurse.
Sadly, my mother passed away. Gratefully my son and I were with her. Although we are grief stricken with our loss, one source of comfort is that she had a nurse, a very special nurse in her final days.”
After receiving the award, Christine, who has worked at South County Health for six of her 11 years as a nurse, remembered that particular patient and family.
Going the "extra mile"
“What I remember of this patient was that she was critically ill, and her family was very concerned about her well-being. I love caring for critically ill patients, all the while providing much needed support to both them and their loved ones.
Although I try to go the “extra mile” for all of my patients, sometimes you meet one that just has a way of touching you in a special way that motivates you to continue to be the best you can be at what you do every day. Such was the case with this patient,” Christine said.
Like many in the nursing profession, Christine knew this was her calling.
“Becoming a nurse was not something I put much thought into. I just knew it was what I wanted to do. I began at a young age as a CNA providing care to skilled nursing patients. The more I worked with patients in that setting, the more motivated I became to pursue nursing,” she said.
Before finishing her nursing education, Christine took time away from her career to be a stay-at-home mom for her children. Once they were in school, she continued on with her education to realize her goal of becoming a nurse.
“My favorite moments as a nurse are those that encompass seeing how my efforts, as a part of a whole interdisciplinary team, directly contribute to positive patient outcomes,” Christine said.
In May, Christine began the next venture of her nursing career, accepting a position in the Quality Department as a Performance Improvement Coordinator.
“I love how nursing presents innumerable growth opportunities with the prospect for ongoing learning and education opportunities,” she said.
The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. His family was awestruck by the care and compassion his nurses provided and one of the goals they set in creating a Foundation was to recognize extraordinary nurses everywhere who make an enormous difference in the lives of so many people by the super-human work they do every day.
Cinnamon rolls were a favorite of Patrick’s during his illness. The Barnes Family asks that whenever and wherever nurses smell that wonderful cinnamon aroma, they stop for a moment and think about how special they are.
To nominate a nurse for the DAISY Award, patients, visitors, nurses, physicians, or colleagues may complete and submit the form on our website.
If the nurse you nominate is selected as the recipient, you will be contacted to share in the celebration.