George Behrens, a Registered Nurse in the Perry Memorial Hospital Emergency Department, is the winner of the November 2017, DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurse. The Daisy Award is awarded quarterly to a Perry nurse in deep appreciation and admiration of compassionate care. The recipient is nominated by patients to honor all a nurse does, who they are and how they provide an incredibly meaningful difference in the lives of people.
On Wednesday, December 13 at 9 a.m. amidst family and co-workers, George was coaxed to attend the Daisy Award Ceremony for his recent contribution of the handmade flower cart donated to the Daisy Award Committee. Little did George know he was the recipient of the quarterly award. When his name was announced, he was humbled. When George’s nomination was read, a tear streamed down his face.
The nomination submission highlighted George’s compassionate care, “I have often been a patient at Perry Memorial ER and other services, whether it was I who was in the ER or one of my family members, George has always been an excellent calming, caring and informative nurse. He and all the staff at Perry Memorial make me extremely grateful for all of their care and support for myself and my family.”
George Behrens began at Perry in 1989 as a CNA while attending nursing school. Twenty-six years later he fondly recalls his first six months as a floor nurse with Jan Pistole and how those first six months evolved to his position as Emergency Room nurse. George explained, the ER back then would see about three to four patients a week. One of the local doctors would be on call and they would be notified by phone (all were within two minutes of the hospital) they were needed at the hospital. While the doctor drove to the hospital, patients received preliminary testing and were prepped so when the doctor arrived he was able to tend to the patient. George said, “wait time is about the same today as back then.”
George attributes his nursing skill set to the early years of his ER nursing career. George says, “I learned a lot by performing physical assessments and learning how to determine what a patient needs or does not need. I’ve experienced plane crashes, gun shots, even stabbings the same as larger hospitals, just not the volume.”
Today Perry’s Emergency Department volume sees an average of 10-15 patients a night. George’s ability to listen to patients and hear what they say their problem is, along with years of experience and wisdom, helps him provide a starting point for the Emergency Room doctors. George believes the patient can guide you down the pain or ailment path. He says the key is to know and understand how to read the trail and continue to reassure the patient along the way.
George is a graduate of Princeton High School and completed an Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1991. George is married to another Perry employee, Luann Behrens. They are parents to five children and grandparents to seven grandchildren. George has a true passion for the Emergency Department; he always tells everyone that he is the luckiest guy in the world because he loves his job and has a great family.
George says, “I wake up every morning looking forward to the day in the ED. I am not a planner, my day is filled with spontaneous events and I live in the moment of the day.” George enjoys a philosophy, ‘life is what you make of it, don’t dwell on the small stuff and make the most of every day.'
The non-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Perry to receive The Daisy Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and guests.