Reuben Layton, registered nurse at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, received the April DAISY award for the exceptional care and compassion that he provided to a young patient and his family.
Reuben was nominated by the young patient’s mother who wrote these kinds words in her nomination:
“I wanted to take a few minutes and recognize a wonderful RN that we were blessed to be able to have an encounter with a late one evening in the Emergency Department at Chambersburg Hospital on a cold night. This RN's name is Reuben.
On this particular day I am sure he approached this shift just like any other: survive 12+ hours on your feet, have all your patients live, and at least once be able to take a bite of food and use the restroom! Little did he know when he clocked in that evening, he had no idea the everlasting impression he would soon make on this pediatric patient and his mother.
Earlier in the week our son tested positive for the flu. After managing symptoms at home, normal flu complications continued as the days progressed and we found him in a dangerous zone of dehydration. We quickly arrived in the ER with several other families dealing with worsening ailments and pains. As we waited for evaluation, our son began to violently vomit in the waiting room. His fever spiked and he cried out in discomfort. Our son has a diagnosis of Autism. He has moderate skill in his verbal communication and was whimpering loudly. He has communication difficulties and becomes overwhelmed and anxious in new and crowded environments. Reuben was walking by us after we were placed in the hallway on a stretcher awaiting a room and he greeted us quickly with towels and a basin. His smile was genuine. His demeanor and kindness were just what an anxious mother needed.
He brought a small cup of water for our son to sip on and assured us that our waiting time would not be long. After a short time passed, we were then placed in a room where Reuben was assigned to our son. Instantly, I was relieved as I knew he seemed to be intentional with the patient care and I felt protected. I knew this RN would advocate for his patients, always having their best interest in hand. That is very important to me!
Reuben spoke to our son in such a compassionate way. He got down on his level literally. He pulled up a chair, made eye contact, softly touched his arm and offered sincere reassurance. He gave our son ample time to process and respond to the questions. Sometimes our son wouldn't answer, and Reuben continued to stay patient and calm. He never skipped a beat, never treated him any differently. He treated him holistically as a young man and gave amazing care throughout our entire stay.
After evaluation from the doctor, an order was given to start an IV. Reuben gathered the supplies quickly but before he started this treatment, he spoke to our son to attempt to improve and strengthen the rapport. He was not task orientated at this time! He was focused on our little man with such sincerity that it touched my heart!
Prior to starting the treatment, Reuben pulled Paw Patrol stickers from his pocket and spoke to our son about the characters. He offered a gentle touch and a calming voice. I know as you read this, you are thinking, that's what a nurse is to do, and you are correct. But as a mother of a child who needs an extra minute to process things, this was a huge aspect for our care. He took extra time to establish a rapport and to establish a relationship. He offered continued reassurance that he was going to be okay. Each time he entered the room, he provided comfort to an anxious child and to reassure a Mother who hates to see her child ill. His bedside manner was on par!
After a few minutes of attempted bonding, he began to explain the IV insertion to our son in terms that he would understand. Basic, and to the point. As he completed the treatment, he gave praise to our son during and after which was such a blessing. Exactly what a mother wanted to see, and a patient needed to hear.
Reuben checked in often on our son. He offered the best “Blue popsicles” and even went out of his way to find the last one! A few hours passed and our son began to show improvement. We were soon able to go home. Reuben gave detailed discharge instructions and assisted our son to a wheelchair. He waited patiently with our son as we got our car and brought it to the main entrance. He even carried our son to the car. He wished us well and just like that, he was on to his next patient.
Reuben, I am not sure if you will ever see this letter or have the recognition that you deserve, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for taking care of our son in such a kind manner. Thank you for adjusting your care to a child who needs extra time for processing. Thank you for not rushing him, not becoming frustrated with his limitations and just being wonderful with him.
We appreciate you and your nursing skill. We are thankful to have had you in our short stay and will always be impressed with your kindness and compassion. You really are making a difference in your patient and family's lives. Thank you for your sincere kindness. Blessings to you as you continue to be a blessing to your patients.”
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital extends its gratitude to Reuben for providing exceptional care and compassion to his patients.
If you would like to nominate someone for a DAISY award, please visit: summithealth.org/daisyaward
About DAISY awards:
The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto‐immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say, “thank you” to nurses in a very public way.