Richelle Stuckey, RN
Unit: Family Maternity Center
Read her DAISY Award nomination story:
I'm truthfully not sure where to begin with our experience with Richelle. My wife and I checked into Evergreen on the 2nd of September in anticipation of delivering our third baby. We had the pleasure of meeting Richelle about two years ago when we welcomed our second child into the world. We were DELIGHTED to have her caring for my wife for our third child. Right off the bat, she was so welcoming, warm, and friendly as we got quickly reacquainted upon check in.
If there is a gold standard for professionalism, bed side manner, and making someone feel cared for, understood, and heard: Richelle is that gold standard. Naturally, there are some nerves when checking in for a delivery and Richelle made sure to let us know exactly what was going on at all points of the process. She spent a good few minutes simply running through what the process would look like, step by step as well as what the goals were each step as the induction process began. She went the extra mile in citing reasons for particular steps (even referencing a Harvard study to help explain at one point). There was never a point in the process where my wife and I didn't know exactly what was going on and why it was going on as a result of Richelle's attention to detail and care.
As is the case with child birth, things don't always go as planned. A very scary situation occurred in which our baby's heart rate dropped suddenly while being monitored. Richelle, in what can only be described as the calmest manner, let us know that she was going to push her button to signal her team to enter the room and assist in trying to prevent a crash (you wouldn't have been able to tell that there was a potential emergency unfolding by the way she carried herself so calmly in the situation). My wife and I were terrified when a gurney was wheeled in followed by a team of staff all getting ready to potentially move us to an operating room for a crash C-section. Richelle was right there with my wife, helping her shift positions, talking to her calmly in the midst of everything going on. She assured both of us that she would be right here with us throughout the process as everyone worked diligently to regain a steady read on our unborn child. Had it not been for Richelle, we would have been thinking the worst of the situation as it all happened so fast. Having her be a voice of reassurance and calm in the midst of the chaos was huge.
Thankfully, things leveled out and we didn't end up needing to move to the operating room but I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no other nurse in that hospital that I would have rather had in control of the situation in that moment than Richelle. As the male in the process, there is a certain level of discomfort in knowing that a lot of what goes on during the birthing process is out of my control. I am not a medical professional, I will never bear the weight of a child for nine months, and that can be really difficult to hand over the responsibility of caring for someone you love so dearly. Richelle took the reins on the entire process and completely alleviated any discomfort I had. She instills confidence in the people she cares for. She communicates every step of the way, making sure any questions or concerns are addressed promptly. But beyond the impeccable professionalism, Richelle CARES. I mean she truly cares. It feels like you're spending time with a friend or a loved one. She's always got such a positive attitude, even when things aren't going to plan (i.e. a near crash). She was consistently checking in to see how my wife was doing and even checking to see if there was anything I needed. Both my wife and I felt a connection to Richelle unprecedented in a setting like healthcare. Her ability to empathize with us made the experience so much easier for us, establishing trust that we were receiving the best care we could possibly have.
At the tail of end of Richelle's shift, she let us know that she would be back to work on Friday, and though she hoped that we would be discharged by then, she let us know that she would be checking on us again if we were still in the hospital come Friday. Sure enough, we lucked out and saw her one more time upon discharge. And once again, her genuine care for her patients shone through. She asked all about how my wife was doing, how the baby was, and how glad she was that she got to see us one more time before we were sent off later that day. There was an immeasurable amount of verbal support and encouragement from start to finish and we couldn't be happier having had the pleasure of being under Richelle's care for a second birth.
In an unprecedented time like this, where COVID-19 has changed so much of people's routines and lives, there was an element of loneliness to delivering a baby knowing that we would not have friends or family showing up to celebrate the occasion alongside us. In a normal world, you've got grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, you name it, waiting down the hallway to meet the new born baby. COVID-19 has robbed people of that joy, but who was there to fill the gaps and make you feel like family was right there with you? Richelle. We never felt alone or unsupported in the hospital because Richelle was always there, like family, she was always there. That is the very essence of our experience with Richelle. She provided so much comfort during an incredibly uncertain time. You can't teach that. It's who she is and what she does so perfectly. Richelle is a caregiver, a friend, a confidant, a supporter, and an absolutely incredible nurse. There isn't anyone more deserving of a Daisy Award than Richelle.