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BENNINGTON — The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), was the recipient of the DAISY Team Award for Extraordinary Nurses in May. The department was nominated in a message from a patient recovering from an overdose.

The patient wrote, “I would just like to sincerely thank all the staff on the floor for taking the best possible care of me. Each nurse and LNA showed me so much empathy and gratitude, love, and respect. Each nurse had so much to bring to the table and, in combination, gave me the best care I’ve ever had. [It was] a judgement-free zone, where I didn’t feel condemned or belittled for my illness. Thank you all for your hard work, compassion, and dedication. I wouldn’t be able to make it through all of this without each and every one of you.”

Duchene presented the award during a surprise presentation in the ICU last month.

“This nomination brings tears to my eyes,” said Pamela Duchene, SVHC’s chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services. “Our ICU nurses know that medicine saves bodies but, in many situations, it’s kindness that saves lives. I am inspired by their heroic life-saving work.”

The ICU Department is made up of 25 full- and part-time staff members. Together with medical staff, they offer intensive care to as many as 10 patients at a time. The DAISY Award is part of a national merit-based recognition program established by the DAISY Foundation. It celebrates nurses’ education, training, and skill. Nominations can be submitted by patients, families, physicians, and colleagues.


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