Hospice Austin nurses Patricia Smith and Emma Perry were honored at the Austin American-Statesman’s Third Annual Recognizing Nurses Best in Class Awards Gala in the Hospice/Home Health category. The Statesman’s Recognizing Nurses celebration commemorates the Austin metro area’s exceptional local nurses and the work they do, day in and day out.
They were two of three finalists in the Hospice/Home Health category and Emma Perry was named Best in Class. The finalists received more than 12,000 votes from the public. Apparently, Emma and Patricia were busy voting for each other instead of themselves, which underscores the reason why they deserve this recognition.
Emma Perry works as a PRN admission nurse and also presents advance care planning sessions to the community as part of the GIFT program.
“I’m a huge believer in Hospice Austin’s mission and that we are a nonprofit,” Emma said. “The fact that there’s no cap to the amount of unfunded patients we accept, and that we truly do what’s best for the patient – that speaks volumes. It’s unparalleled in today’s medical environment. The patient comes first.”
Patricia Smith is an RN Case Manager, which means that she is not only the primary nurse for the patient but also coordinates the overall care with the other team members. Caregiving comes naturally to Patricia. She was a massage therapist and social worker before becoming a parent, and then went to nursing school while her kids were young. Taking care of her parents at the end of their lives solidified her desire to become a hospice nurse.
“I love our motto, ‘Your Comfort. Our Calling.’ The key there is YOUR comfort,” Patricia said. “I have in mind how things should go, but I’m going into patients’ homes and they are the ones in charge. I’m caring for a couple right now who have been married over 60 years. Her husband is adamant that he wants to keep his wife (the patient) home with him. I didn’t think he’d be able to, but he is doing it. It’s beautiful to witness that kind of love. That’s the gift that I get every day. EVERY day.”