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San Juan Regional Medical Center announces Daisy Award winners

Wendy Joe, intensive care nurse at San Juan Regional Medical Center. (Courtesy photo)
Nurses honored for dedication, compassionate care

San Juan Regional Medical Center announced Alicia McGee and Wendy Joe as Daisy Award honorees.

McGee, a nurse in the intensive care unit, took care of an elderly patient who was admitted with multiple serious health issues, including pneumonia. While the patient’s pneumonia improved with antibiotics, her mental status rapidly deteriorated. McGee was concerned it might be a stroke and acted quickly, but a CT scan ruled it out. However, the patient was becoming more unresponsive. McGee discovered through research that the antibiotic the patient was on can, in rare cases, cause neurotoxicity. She voiced her concern and the patient was taken off the antibiotic and her mental status greatly improved.

Alicia McGee, a nephrology nurse at San Juan Regional Medical Center. (Courtesy photo)

“I thank God for dedicated nurses like Alicia,” the patient’s daughter said in her nomination. “My mom received wonderful care and was able to come home for us to love and enjoy for a while longer.”

“My family has been in Farmington all their lives. I grew up here, so it’s nice to work here and serve my community. I love the team I work with. They are always supportive, and we help each other out,” McGee said.

Staff at San Juan Regional Medical Center celebrate Alicia McGee’s award. (Courtesy photo)

The second recipient is Wendy Joe, is a nephrology nurse. Joe cared for an elderly Navajo patient who was very nervous about being in the hospital. Joe helped calm her fears with her happy attitude and her ability to speak Navajo, explaining the patient’s medical condition and treatment in a way she could understand. After the patient was discharged, Joe followed up with the patient’s husband, even calling the pharmacy to get a price estimate on medications.

“She went above and beyond. We don’t have many nurses who speak Navajo or take the time to do these things, but Wendy did, and my grandma didn’t want to leave the hospital,” the patient’s granddaughter said in her submission.

The patient’s family wanted to share how much their grandma loved Wendy. She said that Wendy would hold her hand and sing to her in Navajo to help keep her calm.

“We are grateful for these precious memories. It made us think highly of the facility to know you have special employees like Wendy who take the time to make a difference in someone’s life,” the family said.

“This award means a lot. It means I am doing something for the patients and my people. My grandma passed away while I was in nursing school and that’s what pushed me to be here. I never knew how to speak Navajo until I was here. My patients have taught me so much,” Joe said.

Community members may thank a nurse by nominating them for a Daisy Award at www.sanjuanregional.com/daisy.

Co-workers celebrate Wendy Joe’s Daisy Award nomination. (Courtesy photo)