Inspiring Stories

Nursing is about 'Being There'

Methodist Hospital ICU nurse Cortney Pasek, BSN, RN, cares for critically ill patients. It’s her job… but it’s also so much more than that.

“It can be a scary time for those in the ICU,” said Cortney. “You have to just be there. It’s such an intimate time, and it’s really just about caring for the patient and family in any way possible.”

Facing the fear

One recent patient of Cortney’s is a prime example of the fear and uncertainty an illness or diagnosis can bring. The patient spent six nights at Methodist Hospital, four in the ICU, after doctors discovered a large brain tumor. The sister of the patient wrote to Methodist about how Cortney addressed the concerns of the patient and uncertainty the entire family faced.

“The night before her brain surgery, I stayed in the ICU with my sister,” she wrote. “(My sister) couldn't sleep and was restless and nervous. Cortney took the time to talk with her about everything and addressed her concerns and fears. Cortney was so soothing and calm, she really gave my sister some peace of mind. She also recognized my sister's sense of humor and feistiness and gave it right back to her which kept things light.”

“Cortney not only took care of my sister, but our whole family. She listened to us, answered our questions, made us comfortable when one of us stayed the night - anything she could do.”

Sister of Methodist Hospital ICU Patient

“You have to be with everybody,” said Cortney. “My goal is to show that patient compassion in that moment, so if it is their last day, they feel loved and cared for in that moment. It’s why I do what I do in the ICU.”

It makes a difference

That care and compassion is something that makes a difference to families experiencing a health crisis. Cortney knows how taking the time to answer questions and provide extra attention at the bedside can make a world of difference.

“Time and again she went over and above,” wrote the sister of Cortney’s patient. “We looked forward to when her shift started because her care inspired confidence. My sister is home and doing great, but I didn't want to let the opportunity pass to give Cortney the praise and recognition she deserves.”

The Meaning of Care to me is no matter the situation, just always being compassionate,” said Cortney. “It’s about loving what you do and being there for families in their time of need. It’s just what I try to do with every single patient. If you can show compassion and love and care, no matter the outcome, I think patients and families are appreciative.”

Award-winning bedside care

It’s Cortney’s dedication to providing The Meaning of Care and the kindness and she delivers every day at Methodist Hospital, that earned her the DAISY Award for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital. She was nominated by the family who feels so grateful for Cortney’s love and care in the ICU.

“Methodist is very lucky to have such a great employee,” wrote the patient’s sister, “and more importantly the patients and their families are lucky to have such a skilled nurse and wonderful person to help them through some very stressful and trying health crises.”

The DAISY Award is a nationwide program that rewards and celebrates extraordinary skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Nurses can be nominated by anyone, including patients, family members, physicians, supervisors or their peers. To nominate a nurse at Methodist Hospital or Methodist Women’s Hospital for the DAISY Award, visit