Calm, Cool and Compassionte

Kaela Bonesteel Honored With DAISY Award


A trip to the emergency room can be a harrowing experience for any patient and their loved ones. And yet a touch of compassion and a commitment to advocate for those seeking care can make a dramatic difference. That is why Kaela Bonesteel, RN is the newest recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center.

Bonesteel’s impact is widespread, having been nominated for the honor by family members of two different patients and a fellow colleague.

“My grandfather had been having heart issues, and he was very grateful for the effort that Kaela had given him while in the hospital Emergency Department,” writes the family member of one patient who wanted to remain anonymous.

And while the grandfather was in the hospital, this family found out that their experience was far from the only one, adding, “Every place we went, patients we ran into made countless remarks of how well they were cared for by Kaela, how she is such a kind and caring person, is quick to react and goes above and beyond for their care when needed.”

Dylan Thomas spent time with his grandfather in Alice Hyde’s Emergency Department, as well. In his nomination of Bonesteel, he notes her outstanding professionalism while doing her job.

“Kaela goes above and beyond for each patient she tends to throughout the course of her day,” Thomas writes. “Her care for each individual, bedside manners, communication skills and the overall outstanding leadership she displays while working with her peers is impeccable.”

What really stood out to Thomas, however, was her dedication to his grandfather. On this particular day, he noticed that her shift was supposed to end at 3:30 that afternoon. She stayed on to assist nurses with other patients and continued caring for his grandfather until he left the hospital after five o’clock.

“This is an outstanding and professional way to carry yourself, and Kaela is absolutely deserving of this award,” Thomas concludes.

Bonesteel, who got her start at Alice Hyde as a phlebotomist in the lab in 2009 and became a registered nurse in 2019, is also widely recognized for the care and professionalism she extends to her colleagues. Ellen Miller, RN, who works with Bonesteel, talks about the impact her leadership has on the entire team. In her nomination, Miller recalls one situation in particular when a patient’s condition was quickly deteriorating and was in danger of dying.

“Kaela kept everyone in the room calm and informed and gave excellent guidance to everyone involved.”

“She is always flexible and open to adjusting plans, responsibilities or expectations to fit the circumstances as they change or occur when caring for someone,” Miller continues. “She guides with equal respect to all involved, leads with purpose and builds relationships in the workplace that allow for effective communication, leading to better problem-solving skills that result in positive patient outcomes.”

Debbie Beach, Emergency Department Nurse Manager at Alice Hyde, notes that Bonesteel takes pride in her team and the work they do together each day to support the community.

“Kaela provides care to her patients with genuine concern, always very attentive to patients and their family members. She is a teacher and mentor, taking charge when needed and guiding the rest of the team. And she is truly a team player, always willing to jump in and help everyone,” Beach says.