Angelica Hernandez’s ability to connect with her patients at Atrium Health Floyd Behavioral Health has not gone unnoticed by those she cares for.

From ensuring a suicidal patient got immediate care, to helping see that important medications were received, Hernandez has shown dedication to those who rely on her. The registered nurse’s caring attitude earned her a DAISY Award.

“You received three nominations. That in itself is unusual and it is what makes the DAISY so special, because it is from patients,” said Sheila Bennett, senior president and chief of patient services at Atrium Health Floyd. “Basically, they wrote about you taking the time to listen to them, to explain, to take their complaints seriously, to go to the next level to get help if they need it.”

“One patient talked about the fact that they were suicidal, and you were able to intervene and get a provider for them, so they got to see somebody. That is really huge,” Bennett added. “The patients that you all care for are so marginalized anyway, and you can make a difference. You give them their dignity back, and it can so easily be taken away from them because people don’t understand.”

Hernandez has worked at Floyd since 2018 and has been a nurse for 16 years.

“I always looked at the DAISY slide show at the hospital (displayed on the second floor) and I really wanted to be there. This is a dream come true and it makes it really special to come from patients,” she said.

“We often see patients at their lowest, sometimes, whether it’s because of mental illness or substance abuse, and by the time they get here they are so thankful for seeking help,” Hernandez added. “The team we have, we try to come up with the best course of treatment for each individual and I am glad to be a part of it.”

The DAISY Award is an international program that recognizes bedside nurses for the exceptional care they provide. The family of Patrick Barnes established the award after he died from an auto-immune disease while being treated in a Seattle hospital.

Hernandez was presented with a DAISY pin and a sculpture entitled “A Healer’s Touch.” The DAISY sculptures are hand-carved for the DAISY Foundation by members of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

The nurse and her teammates were also treated with cinnamon buns, a DAISY tradition because it was one of the few things Patrick Barnes could eat while he was hospitalized.