Putting Your Hands and Heart to Work

Katrina DennisMonica WaiteDebby Wingo 

When Katrina Dennis (pictured left) noticed something wasn't right with a patient's visitor, she investigated and got her the care she needed for, what turned out to be, a terrible wound. Monica Waite (pictured middle) used her experience and judgment to quickly respond to a newborn's apnea and just as swiftly ensure an early response to the mother's postpartum hemorrhage. And Debby Wingo (pictured right) volunteered to expand her responsibilities to include diabetes educator - at two hospitals - with enthusiasm for a challenge.

With these stories, Katrina, Monica and Debby joined the select ranks of Emory Healthcare nurses who have garnered DAISY Awards, awards recognizing extraordinary U.S. nurses. And although they did not have an award as their goal, all three hold it close to their hearts.

Recently, they shared their thoughts on nursing. Here is a glimpse into the minds of three DAISY recipients.

Q: Define nursing.

K: For me, nursing is a chance to serve. That is what people mean when they say they are called to nursing.
M: Nursing allows you to put your hands and heart to work. There is a place in nurses' hearts where we put others' needs before ours.

Q: What have you discovered about yourself as a nurse?

M: I have discovered that nursing is my passion. It is fulfilling and rewarding.
D: I have discovered who I am ... a nurse. I can give of myself freely, compassionately and professionally, which sometimes surprises me after 33 years of being a nurse.

Q: Has nursing been what you thought it would be?

K: Yes. One thing that I particularly enjoy is the autonomy. I like earning my patients' trust. I have learned how to be flexible. You have to be versatile and learn how to serve your patients.
D: Nursing has gone beyond any concept I could have. It is a lifetime commitment of caring for and educating others. Nursing gives
me an identity, self-worth and feeling of accomplishment.

Q: Describe Emory Healthcare and the world through the eyes of a nurse.

I see the hospital as a peaceful, healing place for the mind, body and spirit - a place where dreams and aspirations meet reality.
D: I see more opportunities in nursing than ever before. I also see that I am a nurse at work, home, the grocery store, etc. I look at people with a nurse's eyes, reaching out when I see a need.

Q: Why choose Emory Healthcare as your career family?

We're a family - loving each other and sharing. My patients are also my extended family. I made a decision very early on in my life that I was going to be someone and do something with my life. I was drawn here. There is something about Emory. There is a plan for me here.
M: Emory Healthcare is a prestigious institution and leader in quality health care. I wanted to be able to learn and grow amongst Atlanta's finest and best. Before I moved here, I researched all of the area hospitals. A previous co-worker had already moved here and worked for Emory Healthcare. I asked her if what I read about the opportunities and care at Emory Healthcare was true. She said, "Yes, what you read is here and real." I am thankful and grateful to be a part of our patients' lives. Every day, we can learn something new. When I'm not at home, I'm here. This is my home.

Q: What does the DAISY Award mean to you?

To win the DAISY Award was a privilege. Knowing your job is to serve, you do it without even thinking about it. It's an honor.
M: Winning the DAISY Award meant more than recognition. It meant that my heart is assured that my journey is ordered with a purpose.
D: Receiving the DAISY Award was beyond my dreams. I am grateful for the confidence others had in me to pick me with so many nurses out there who deserve it.