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Altru Nurse Provides Compassionate Care to a Much-Loved Father

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Grand Forks, N.D. – Emily Berdan, 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.

“My dad was in the hospital for 35 nights and 36 days,” the person who nominated Emily for the DAISY Award wrote. “We had seen many, many different nurses.”

Quickly the patient’s family member recognized there was something extra special about Emily.

They shared, “When Emily started caring for my dad, she stood out from the crowd. Emily gave him the attention he needed and on his level.”

Emily was able to provide instruction in a manner to which her patient responded.

“Emily laughed with my dad, but she also had to be stern with him at times too. He listened to her,” pointed out the family member.

Janice Hamscher, chief nursing officer at Altru, reflected on Emily’s award, "Emily is a compassionate, but firm, nurse. This combination can be difficult to strike but makes for a highly effective nurse. She also loves caring for people and that is apparent to all who come in contact with her."

A nurse on the Critical Care unit, Emily has only been a nurse for 10 months. Even though she has not been in the profession long, she has made a big impact on those around her.

“Emily doesn’t just work for a paycheck, she works from her heart,” continued the family member. “Emily sent a card, along with a typed letter, to us at the funeral home. She is an angel in disguise.”

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.