Hilton Head nurse recognized for compassion, skill

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJune 27, 2012 

Tracy Clodfelter, a nurse at Hilton Head Hospital, listens as Michele Trecki, a fellow nurse at Hilton Head Hospital, talks about the qualities that make Clodfelter an exceptional nurse at the Medical Pavilion on Wednesday. Clodfelter received the first DAISY award at the hospital.

DELAYNA EARLEY, THE ISLAND PACKET

Tracy Clodfelter wouldn't be working at Hilton Head Hospital without the unwitting help of her daughter.

About three years ago, Clodfelter was contemplating applying for a job at the hospital. A school nurse at the time, she filled out the online application, but walked away without submitting it. She needed more time to think, she said.

But then her daughter, Ali, needed to use the computer. Ali submitted the application and moved on to another website. That mouse click catapulted Clodfelter back to clinical nursing.

"I had to pretend I wasn't terrified," she said. "But now, I love it."

Clodfelter, who works in the same-day surgery unit, won the hospital's first DAISY Award, which recognizes nurses for the hard work they do each day.

The award, presented Wednesday, is sponsored by the national DAISY Foundation, formed in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications of an auto-immune disease. DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

More than 1,000 health care facilities across the world give their nurses DAISY Awards, according to the foundation's website. Locally, the award has been given at both Beaufort Memorial and Coastal Carolina hospitals.

Hilton Head Hospital plans to recognize a nurse with the DAISY Award twice a year, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Presnell said.

For Clodfelter, the award came as a surprise -- she wasn't even planning to attend the announcement ceremony.

"I feel like I went numb, and the blood rushed to my feet," she said of the surprise. "I'm just stunned."

Karen Basirico, clinical lead in the same-day surgery unit, nominated Clodfelter, saying her compassion and willingness to take on any challenge made her stand out. She's always lifting her coworkers' spirits with her humor and her patients' and their families' spirits with her helpful attitude and kindness, Basirico said.

"She can make a frightened child or patient feel secure, and a geriatric patient feel loved," Basirico said.

Clodfelter said she's just doing the job she loves.

"I love meeting so many different kinds of people and helping them through a difficult time," she said.

Related content

  1. DAISY Foundation website
  2. PHOTO: DAISY Foundation recognizes efforts of nurses during Hardeeville ceremony; May 8, 2012
  3. Beaufort Memorial oncology nurse honored with DAISY Award; Nov. 22, 2011

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