Brenda Damasco, a registered nurse at the Comprehensive Care Center in Lompoc, has been recognized with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
The prestigious international award is part of The DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care provided to patients and families every day, according to a news release.
Ms. Damasco was nominated by a former CCC patient who was recovering from a difficult surgery and had significant medical issues during her healing. She said Ms. Damasco was kind-hearted, compassionate and attentive.
“The most recent recovery was the most painful and had quite a few setbacks, but you always comforted me with your smile and your caring heart,” the patient noted in a letter. “You could always get me back to my positive self.”
The patient said Ms. Damaso always made sure she was comfortable, never had to wait for medications and checked on her often.
“I appreciate you more than you could truly understand,” the woman wrote.
Ms. Damasco began her healthcare career at Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s Skilled Nursing Facility as a licensed vocational nurse 15 years ago. She worked as an LVN from 2008 to 2015, when she became a registered nurse. She also worked for 10 years in urgent care at the former Sansum Clinic.
“It’s so selective and prestigious,” Ms. Damasco said of the award. “I’m just honored, so honored, to be a part of this.”
As for the patient who nominated her, the nurse said she formed a strong bond with the woman, and the patient will always have a “special place in my heart.
“When she was having a rough start in the mornings, we’d do a little pep talk and say ‘Everything’s going to be OK,’ and she was,” recalled Ms. Damasco, who is married to Enrique and has a 3-year-old son, RJ.
The nurse said she was drawn to health care because her grandfather, Sebastian, always wanted to have a nurse in the family because of the prestige.
“I grew up watching the nurses in Mexico with their white dresses and hats, and they would come into our community,” she recalled. “They got so much respect and people listened to them. They helped the community so much that I always looked up to them. I was probably 6, and I remember saying ‘I want to be like that.’ It always guided me.”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by members of his family and honors nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. Mr. Barnes died in 1999 at the age of 33 from complications caused by ITP, or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an auto-immune disease.
DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The foundation was inspired by the care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill. LVMC nominations are reviewed by an internal committee of representatives from nursing, non-nursing and non-clinical departments.
In addition to a certificate, winners also receive a DAISY Award pin and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.
More information about the award is available at daisyfoundation.org. To nominate a nurse at LVMC, Lompoc Health or the Comprehensive Care Center, see the nomination form at lompocvmc.com, under the Resources tab and Patient Feedback link.