Inspiring Stories

When Taking Care of the Patient Means Taking Care of the Family

Published: March 6, 2019


Her coworkers laughed and clapped, knowing such humility is typical for the Methodist Hospital cardiac nurse.

The DAISY Nomination

In nominating Nachreiner, Jan Stangl expressed deep appreciation for Nachreiner’s care and compassion toward her 95-year-old father, who was placed in hospice care during his stay at Methodist.

“From the moment she walked into his room, her professionalism shined,” Jan said.

Jan praised Nachreiner for always being there to explain her father’s condition to each and every family member as they arrived at the hospital.

“She cared enough to not make one of us have to do that – to have to go through that over and over again. And we were tired. We would have forgotten certain things, I’m sure.”

Witnessing The Meaning of Care

Jan recalled how her father, who experienced a lot of medical issues and hospital stays over the years, always preferred Methodist.

“Even when one of his doctors referred him somewhere else. He always wanted Methodist.”

During her father’s final days, Jan witnessed why.

While tending to her patient’s every need, Nachreiner never failed to offer water, coffee, tea and snacks to his family.

“It seems so simple,” Jan said, “but when you’re in that situation, the only place you want to be is in the hospital with your family. You don’t have time to stop for food beforehand, nor do you really want to.”

So why did Nachreiner put forth that kind of effort? Why did she take the extra time and energy to care for an entire family – people who weren’t even technically her patients?

“The patient is our focus, yes,” Nachreiner said. “They’re the first circle of who you love on and who you take care of. But the patient is so much more than just them. It’s their family, it’s where they live, who they see, things that matter to them. And so to best take care of someone, it’s so important that you broaden your scope.”

Moved by the Recognition

At her DAISY recognition ceremony, Nachreiner teared up as her nomination letter was read aloud by her service leader, Raymond (Bud) Erickson, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN.

“It’s one thing to be recognized by peers or management,” Nachreiner said. “But I’m not here for them as much as I’m here for the people I’m taking care of. So to be recognized by a patient’s family means everything.”

Harold Sliva, 95, passed away Dec. 8, 2018.

Jan feels blessed and is comforted by the fact that he was in excellent hands leading up to that day.

Nachreiner's team couldn't be more proud of her extraordinary care.

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About the Author

Jessica Gill, the External Communications Manager for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

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