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Supporting Our Veterans: Altru Nurse Provides Compassionate Care to Air Force Veteran After a Devastating Diagnosis

Posted OnDecember 13, 2021

Grand Forks, N.D. – Kaytlin Trontvedt, RN, a nurse at Altru Health System, is being honored with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses ®. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation's mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care nurses provide patients and families every day.

A patient of Kaytlin’s from summer 2021 nominated her for the DAISY award. Her impact and care made a lasting impression on him. At a time when he felt the most alone, Kaytlin’s patient felt her love and compassion.

“I received my diagnosis of inoperative lung cancer. I was sitting on the edge of my bed in a very dark place. Kaytlin came in my room and asked me what was wrong. I told her of my diagnosis,” the patient revealed. “She sat next to me and put her arm around my shoulder and said, ‘I’m so sorry. You’re a good guy. You can fight this.’ I looked at her and there was a tear on her cheek. This nurse cared about me.”

The patient noted Kaytlin’s genuine concern and her ability to show such empathy.

“It hit me like a bag full of hammers that she cared about what happened to me,” remarked the patient. “How could she have known what to say or do? In my opinion, this can’t be taught or learned, it has to come from a much deeper place.”

The patient, a 68-year-old Air Force veteran, expressed gratitude for the basic care he received from Kaytlin as well. “When I had a question, she always had a ready answer or would find out in a timely manner.”

“Two of the hallmarks of a fantastic nurse are listening and compassionate care. Kaytlin obviously has both these qualities and her patient noticed,” explained Janice Hamscher, Chief Nursing Officer at Altru. “We are so very grateful to have Kaytlin as part of our team at Altru.”

Kaytlin has been a nurse on the 3rd Floor Medical Specialty Unit for 1 ½ years. Her colleagues celebrated her award during a ceremony in early December.

The patient nominated Kaytlin because he wanted her to know how thankful he was for the care he received from her, but he also wanted Altru to know what a great nurse she is. “You have no idea how lucky you are to have Kaytlin as part of your organization. A rich man could not have paid for better care than what I received.”

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known, but not uncommon, auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.