Blooming Compassion: Daisy Award-Winning Nurse Discusses Her Journey to Shepherd Center
After a 28-year tenure at Shepherd Center, Tami Severs-Pachal, BSN, RN, CRRN, reflects on her career journey.
What is your role at Shepherd Center?
I’m a charge nurse with Shepherd Center’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program. Since I was 12, I wanted to go into healthcare because I knew I could care for people the way they should be cared for.
What position did you begin in at Shepherd Center?
I started as a patient care technician (PCT) here at Shepherd Center while I was still in nursing school. I didn’t start out wanting to pursue catastrophic care, but I fell in love with what we do here, and I knew this was the right place for me.
What’s your most memorable moment during your 28 years at Shepherd Center?
I don’t have a specific memorable moment because there are so many to choose from. I think the most memorable and meaningful moments are the times when family members thank you for taking care of their loved ones. It really lets you know you’ve chosen the right career path.
What has been your favorite day at work?
When I was a new PCT, I was working with a patient who sustained his injuries years prior. He told me that he gives his new caregivers two weeks to learn everything, and then he makes them do it all themselves. So, two weeks went by, and I was able to do everything for him successfully, like suctioning. That experience helped me move past my fears and move forward with learning new things.
You were recently awarded the Daisy Award, a recognition program for nurses who go above and beyond to provide patients and families compassion and excellence in clinical care. What does it mean to you to accept this award?
It’s such a rewarding feeling. It’s nice to know that people are paying attention to what I say and do to help staff during their shifts.
Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.