Exceptional nursing students receive awards

Published 6:51 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two nursing students at Beaufort County Community College were celebrated during the nurse pinning ceremony with a new award from the DAISY Foundation. Elizabeth Knox and Carmela Mombaerts received the DAISY in Training Award for their delivery of clinical care in an extraordinary and compassionate way to patients and their families as they are learning.

The DAISY Foundation was established in 1999 by family members of Patrick Barnes. The 33-year-old died of complications of the auto-immune disease idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, a disorder that leads to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. Like many families who experience loss, the Barnes family wanted to honor Patrick’s life. They decided the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation would honor the extraordinary care, compassion and kindness Patrick received from his nurses. The family created the DAISY Award to honor nurses who go above and beyond and make extraordinary differences in patients and families experiences in health care. The DAISY in Training Award recognizes students who exemplify these qualities.

The two students received a DAISY pin and the Healer’s Touch Sculpture. The stone sculpture is hand carved by the artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe, providing 14 artists with employment.

“She goes above and beyond,” read nursing instructor Molly Wells as she cited comments from BCCC faculty and Vidant staff about recipient Elizabeth Knox. “She made blankets for patients at Roanoke Landing her freshman year, and during her senior year, she lead the teddy bear drive, which collected over 100 bears for the Children’s Hospital in Greenville.”

“(Knox) thinks not only of her patients as if they were the only ones she is caring for, she cares for the class as a whole,” Wells continued. “She drew a huge diagram complete with pictures on the 8-foot white board in the senior classroom prior to the pediatric cardiac test for all the students. Her kindness and compassion toward her patients is sincere and from her heart. Her drive to become a nurse came from the early loss of a child and she plans to continue her passion in working with children.”

Knox was the recipient of the BCCC Board of Trustees Endowment Scholarship in spring 2017.

Wells moved on to the description of another recipient, Carmela Mombaerts. “She is one of the kindest, devoted and most sincere individuals in our nursing program,” Wells said. “At Roanoke Landing, she organized self-care packets for all (the) residents. She also organized a clothing drive through her church and brought in several bags of clothes and shoes to donate to the residents who had little to no family.”

“She takes the time to really listen to her patients and makes that as high a priority as her assessment,” Wells elaborated. “Then (Mombaerts) uses what she learns to connect with them on another level, going beyond basic bed-side nursing. Residents request her each week. As a matter of fact, she has a perfect attendance record for classroom lectures.”

The faculty of the ADN program at BCCC nominated nursing students for this award based on a number of criteria. Recipients had to be thoughtful and caring, keeping patients and families at the center of care, a true advocate for patients, families and self. They had to demonstrate professionalism, flexibility and adaptability in clinical and classroom environments. Award recipients needed to work with other members of the health care team in demonstrating excellence in inter-professional collaboration and communication. They had to be committed to excellence in patient care, demonstrating proficiency in decision-making, kindness, compassion and sincerity in practice. Lastly, they had to create a healthy work environment and strive to improve practice and patient care.

Knox is now working at Vidant Beaufort Hospital in the New Graduate Program.