National Nurses Week is a celebration and recognition of the invaluable contributions nurses make to patient care. This is the first in a series of stories highlighting a few of the many exceptional nurses at Novant Health, as chosen by their peers for going above and beyond in caring for patients.

As a pediatric nurse at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital, Lauren Hubbard was caring for a 14-year-old boy who was brought to the United States by a host organization that helps children from underserved countries receive advanced medical treatment. Initially admitted for what was to have been a three- to five-day hospital stay, the teenager experienced complications that extended his stay for many weeks.

Alone and speaking little English, the boy appeared very depressed and isolated. Hubbard began reading children’s books to him and provided him with audiobooks when he was alone. To ease his discomfort, she worked with physical therapists and providers to create a care plan that allowed the patient to disconnect from all his machines and allow him greater mobility.

To bridge the communication gap, Hubbard explained to the patient about the care he was receiving using visual explanations on posters which proved more effective than verbal communication.

In a short time, the patient came out of his shell. In recognition for the compassion and respect shown to this patient, Hubbard was nominated for and won a DAISY Award, a nationwide program that honors extraordinary nurses for the incredible work they do every day.