OMAHA, Neb. – The Paralyzed Veterans of America's Great Plains Chapter recently bestowed its quarterly award upon an extraordinary nurse at the Omaha VA Medical Center for exceptional service.
During an award ceremony held at the Omaha VAMC on Thursday, August 17, 2023, Deborah Lamb, a VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System nurse, was honored for her heart-felt work caring for area Veterans.
Nurse Lamb, who started her healthcare profession as a respiratory therapist, shared her journey during the ceremony. "My first healthcare profession was a respiratory therapist; I took care of patients who were ventilator-dependent due to different health issues. It was rewarding to help them breathe better and be at the bedside to talk with them," Lamb said.
She later decided to take her passion for care a step further. "I decided to become an RN because I wanted to be able to provide care for patients totally, not just in one specific area."
Lamb said her drive stems from an innate caretaker personality developed from a young age. "As a young child, I would care for wounded rabbits, cats, birds, and dogs," she said.
Her compassionate nature extends beyond her professional life. Lamb has been a pillar of support for her family in Omaha. "Being the only sibling living here in Omaha over the past 25 years, I have provided care for my maternal grandmother and maternal grandfather, my great-uncle, and ex-husband until their passing," she said.
PVA Chapter President Randy Squire, who has been receiving VA healthcare services since 1985, discussed the evolution of VA care standards. "We've seen the good. A significant shift has been made towards prioritizing the services for Veterans," said Squire.
According to Squire and PVA Board of Directors member Will Leavitt, Lamb personifies the compassion and clinical expertise that characterizes the Omaha VA nursing team. The Aug. 17 ceremony allowed them to publicly express gratitude to the nurses who tirelessly prioritize Veterans' needs daily.
The message from Squire and Leavitt was clear - Veterans under the care of the Omaha VA can rest assured they are in capable hands. The nursing staff consistently exhibits a solid commitment to delivering top-quality treatment and customer service to those who have served.
Lamb’s patient-oriented approach was praised by many. "When I approach my patients, I do so with kindness; I let them direct as much care the way they prefer to be cared for; I also educate them on medications received and why some of their disease processes, etc., and sometimes I listen to them," she explained.
Lamb’s supervisor nominated her for the award for the exceptional care she delivers to Veterans with empathy and understanding. According to her nomination, Lamb often works late, calmly assessing situations to ensure all Veterans' needs are met.
With more than 50 years of experience, Nurse Lamb is viewed as an essential leader within the healthcare team and is known for her dedication to Veterans and the VA system.
In recognition of her dedicated and positive contributions, the PVA board presented her with a certificate of appreciation.