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RN Receives HaysMed's First Daisy Award

Carol Gatschet receives DAISY Award for making difference in nursing profession
Published on -1/5/2012
Hays Daily News
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
dobrien@dailynews.net

Carol Gatschet's co-workers weren't surprised that she was surprised they were honoring her.
Being a good nurse is all in a day's work for Gatschet, a registered nurse in the pediatric unit at Hays Medical Center.

Normally, it's all about the patients. But Gatschet had to take a little time out for herself Wednesday morning, when she was honored as the recipient of the inaugural DAISY Award at HaysMed.
The DAISY Foundation -- short for Diseases Attacking the Immune System -- was established in 1999 by members of a family in California whose child died at age 33 of complications of ITP, a disease of the immune system. The program is designed to recognize the efforts of nurses and the difference they make in the lives of their patients.

Jodie Ostmeyer, coordinator of the award at HaysMed, said she decided this past year to start giving out the quarterly honor, which calls for nominees from patients and their families, doctors and other staff members.

Gatschet, who has been at HaysMed since 1997, got three nominations for the award.
Not surprisingly, Gatschet said the award was "a reflection of the people I work with."
One of the nominations came from 8-year-old Nolan Klaus from Hays and his family.
Nolan had been hospitalized at HaysMed twice last year, in May for a bacterial infection and again a couple of months later when he broke both his arms when he fell from an outdoor play set.
Nolan's mom, Tammy Klaus, said that Gatschet time and again brought a spark to Nolan's eyes, leaving notes and making pictures with stickers. Gatschet even bandaged up a stuffed animal, wrapping both the bear's arms in "casts."

"Just those little things really helped a lot," Nolan's mother said Wednesday as her son held the small bear.

Cinnabon, a chain of American baked goods stores, is one of the national sponsors for the award, so Gatschet and her co-workers received cinnamon rolls Wednesday. In addition to a DAISY pin and certificate, Gatschet also received some Cinnabon cinnamon and a hand-carved "Healer's Touch" sculpture. A banner will hang in the pediatric unit throughout the first quarter of 2012.

And, she got lots of kudos. Terry Siek, chief nursing officer at HaysMed, said it's not unusual for nurses to think they aren't doing anything special. "That's why at every DAISY Award presentation, we ask each nurse to pause for just a minute," he said, "and realize how very special they are and how they make the world a better place by 'just doing their jobs.' "

No doubt on this day, Gatschet felt special. "I never got to be homecoming queen," Gatschet said jokingly, a tear sneaking down her cheek. "This is better." "I was very fortunate to pick nursing as my profession," she added. "I've never regretted it."