Building Trust with a Young Cancer Patient

Andrea Hawkinson DAISY 584x342 IMG_3291Congratulations to staff nurse Andrea Hawkinson, RN, BSN, whose support of a teenage cancer patient while he went through a physically and emotionally challenging course treatment earned her a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Andrea threw herself into the care of a 16-year-old boy diagnosed with germ cell testicular cancer. She spent an extended period of time over a weekend with the treating physician to better understand the condition and threw all of herself into helping the teen through his care.

“Watching Andrea with this patient is amazing,” a colleague wrote. “She has not only developed a trusting relationship with this patient, but she has made a true connection with both him and his family.”

When the young man first arrived at the Jefferson Infusion Center he was terribly scared – as was his entire family– but over time, as the relationship grew, Andrea was able to help pacify his fears.

“When he sees Andrea he has a huge smile and his worries seem to disappear,” a colleague wrote in nominating the nurse for a DAISY Award. “She has made a huge impact on this young man’s life and has made a cancer diagnosis for a teenager one that is not frightening.”

For that alone Andrea is to be commended, but she went further as her colleague explained:

“He was getting treatment on his 17th birthday and she made sure to have a small celebration with him. When he got his driver’s license, she also celebrated with him, like family, knowing what a big deal this is to a teen. Most recently he expressed to Andrea his disappointment in not being able to make a Phillies game. Andrea knowing what a big fan he is, made some phone calls to social service and was able to get him and his friends four tickets to an upcoming game ­– the game he really wanted to see. He was so excited that everyone that entered his treatment bay he was sure to tell. Not only has he overcome his fear, he also recently spoke with another patient diagnosed with germ cell cancer and shared his experience.”

On the patient’s final chemotherapy treatment Andrea had balloons and a Jefferson T-shirt ready for this special young man. She also passed around a card for all of the staff to sign to celebrate his last treatment. She did this all on her own.

“The caring and compassion she has shown to this patient and his family is truly inspirational.”

Thank you, Andrea, for demonstrating true Jefferson values, supporting our mission and for your awesome efforts to help this young man along with all our patients and their families!

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

J. Patrick Barnes died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient’s families. Jefferson is proud to bring the tradition of honoring extraordinary nurses here.

You can nominate your Jefferson nurse for a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses here or by going to

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