Each quarter at Children’s Hospital, extraordinary nurses are selected to be presented with the DAISY Award, an acronym for “Diseases Attacking the Immune System” . The DAISY Award was established in the memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died from complications during his long-fought battle with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The family of J. Patrick Barnes was moved to establish the DAISY Award in recognition of the exceptional and compassionate care his nursing team provided during his time at the hospital. This blog intends to tell the story of a nurse who was presented the DAISY Award, for not only being great at her job, but also because she cared very deeply about her patients and especially her primary care family.
If you are not a nurse, you might not know what a NICU nurse does. A NICU nurse works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and treats the youngest patients. This job can be very rewarding, but also very emotional and challenging—especially if you are a primary care nurse.
This nurse had to care for a family that had a very difficult time. Not only did they have their newborn child in the NICU with a breathing tube to keep it alive, they had also lost their previous child only a year before from the same circumstance.
Hoping for a different outcome, the mother and the grandparents of the child waited for months to hopefully receive the ‘okay’ to take their child home. This nurse put a great deal of her time and energy to help this family. Unfortunately, a few months later the mother of the child became ill, and passed away.
Several months passed and the newborn still wasn’t getting better, and it was decided that the breathing tube would be removed. The primary nurse was scheduled to be off work on the day the breathing tube was scheduled to be taken off of the baby, but instead took the bus all the way to work to be with the family on the somber day—bringing with her flowers and comfort. The family was so grateful for such a caring nurse.
After these events, this nurse was asked to be a primary care nurse for other families, but she declined. She said she needed time to grieve over the loss of the newborn. One challenge of being a primary nurse is spending so much time with a family that they start to feel like your own.
Because of her care and dedication, the family nominated this nurse for the DAISY Award. The family said that this nurse not only helped with the grieving process but also shined light into their lives. We hope this story brings awareness to how challenging and emotional the nursing profession can be. Nurses not only save patients’ lives, but help to heal the families, as well.
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