Nallely Zavala, BSN, RN, of ChristianaCare’s Wilmington Hospital, has received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
Zavala, a step-down and intensive care nurse, was nominated by nursing colleague Lea Purcell for kindness and compassion in handling “a very complicated patient and family situation.”
While caring for a seriously ill patient from Mexico, Zavala became troubled by the man’s lack of family support, Purcell wrote in her nomination. Zavala tracked down the patient’s roommate, who connected her with a relative, who helped her locate the man’s wife in Mexico.
Zavala, who is also a certified medical translator, then attended family meetings with the patient’s medical care team both in person and by phone, Purcell wrote. Zavala even came to the hospital on her own time — more than once — to help the patient’s family with translation and support.
“She quickly gained the trust and admiration of the family,” Purcell wrote. “She sat with this patient and his family until, while on comfort care, he died.”
Zavala also supported other staff members who were caring for the patient by explaining cultural practices that were unfamiliar, Purcell wrote.
“We felt relief when we saw her because we knew she would help this frightened family during their darkest hours,” Purcell wrote. “From her we learned quiet compassion … and were reminded what it means to truly care.
“Nallely embodies all that we strive to be as nurses,” Purcell wrote. “We are beyond blessed to call her our teammate, coworker, and friend.”
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