Awards and Achievements

Cardiovascular Triage Nurse Patty Sieler Honored With The DAISY Award

Published: Sept. 9, 2020
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In early March, just as Patty Sieler, RN, a cardiovascular triage nurse with Methodist Physicians Clinic, was finishing up nursing school at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), she became ill with COVID-19. Her first symptoms? A fever and sore throat.

“Eventually, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest with its trunk wrapped around my throat. My ribs hurt really bad, and by week four, I developed pneumonia.”

She missed two months of work, but when she was cleared to return, she faced another uphill battle: Her mom had suffered a stroke.

Knowing her mother would need around-the-clock care, Sieler transformed her basement into a “grandma cottage.” With help, she finished a bathroom, acquired furniture and prepared a bedroom. She slept on the basement couch to care for her mother through the night. Every morning Sieler, still short of breath from the lingering effects of COVID-19, would go upstairs to get ready for work. She’d then go back downstairs to administer her mother’s morning medications, help her with breakfast, get her cleaned up and get her dressed. She left for work by 7 a.m. That’s when her daughter took over care. But in the evenings, Sieler would do it all over again: help her mother with dinner, medications and getting ready for bed. She did it all as her nursing finals neared.

“I called my instructor and said, ‘I know my paper is due, and I’m going to have it done on time. I just need you to know what’s going on,’” Sieler said.

A week and a half after establishing a “new normal,” Sieler’s mother had suffered another stroke. She passed away 11 days later. 

For staying the course while caring for her mother, children and Methodist patients, Sieler received The DAISY Award. It was Sieler’s MCC nursing instructor, Kristin Dolezal, MSN, who nominated her.

In Dolezal’s nomination letter, she praised Sieler for her dedication and determination despite everything that could have derailed her. But dropping out of nursing school and finding other care for her mother were simply not options for Sieler.

“My mom was an amazing lady. She was a single mom who worked three jobs to pay for us to go to a private school, and she had nothing of her own. I think I learned it from her – the never giving up. Growing up, there were times we clashed. But I’ll tell you what,” Sieler said. “She was the epitome of unconditional love. I needed to return that. And yeah, I think I wanted to make her proud, too.”

Sieler said she was never too exhausted or too emotionally drained to provide excellent care to her Methodist patients – mainly because in her eyes, they’re not patients.

“They’re someone’s mother, too,” she said. “Or daughter, sister, brother or husband. It all goes back to The Meaning of Care. It’s not just, ‘You have this condition, you need this treatment, and now we’re going to conveyor belt you down the line.’ The Meaning of Care is do you care? And if you care, then is it heard in your voice? Is it seen in your actions? Is it part of your heart? If it is, you treat every patient like family. Because they are. They’re someone’s family, too.”