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Daisy Award?

Ever since nursing school, I always thought it would be cool to get a Daisy Award. The Daisy Award is an award for nurses, and you can be nominated by a patient, a patient’s family/support system, or a co-worker. On a medical floor, the Daisy Award nomination form is readily available and advertised, along with usually having some sort of bulletin board that celebrates nurses who have recently received such an award. On my floor, this is not the case.

It was proposed that the award forms could be added to the packet of unit information that family/support systems receive and possibly placed in a patient’s unit folder, but then there was concern that the other disciplines on the floor might feel left out. I can’t speak to how medical units address this sort of concern, because I have only ever worked on my floor. This idea of adding to folders got put to the side while brainstorming was to be occurring on how to address the FOMO (fear of missing out.)

I have made jokes before about really wanting a nomination to where one coworker will tell me she’ll nominate me in exchange for letting her leave early, or she’ll nominate me if I “help” her get a VTO (voluntary time off), and she even sent me a funny picture one time when someone had left an information card about the award in a bathroom on the floor asking, “did you leave this in here?”

I can think of at least one patient very vividly who probably would have nominated me, had she been given access to the form. I hadn’t even realized the impact I had on this individual until I went into do a review of discharge paperwork with her and her family. I had been the primary nurse for a few days in a row, where I was the one administering medications and doing a nursing check-in, but then for the last few days of the stay, I had been in Charge, where I had interactions, but more of casual conversation or socializing at free time while supervising the kids. I unlocked the door to our conference room because prior to COVID-19, we did family therapy meetings in person, and if the kiddo was safe to be discharged afterward, the therapist would let a nurse (usually the charge nurse) know that the family was ready to review paperwork. As I walked into the room, the girl looked at her mom and said, “that’s the nurse I was telling you about. She’s my favorite staff here.” My facial expressions often are very obvious what I’m thinking, and I’m sure I looked surprised. I started to sit down, and she said to me, “you treated me like a person, you treated me like I was more than just a patient, you had to do your work, but you still treated me like I mattered and like you had time to talk to me and wanted to do more than just ask your questions.” Thinking back over the days I was her nurse, I didn’t recall doing anything outside of my normal, but it was reassuring to me to hear that my approach was effective, that it made her felt heard, and understood.

I can think of another kiddo who grew leaps and bounds over multiple stays with learning to trust and open up, expressing that not all adults are “bad” and that some people are “safe people.” This kiddo called me his “best friend” on the night before his last discharge, and not in a way where he was trying to get an extra snack before bed time, but in a way that made me realize that he really had come to trust that I was looking out for him, even if I was telling him it was time to go to bed and the time for jokes and play was done for the night. He might have been too young and missed too many opportunities for growth and development educationally to have comprehended what a Daisy Award nomination would be, but I’d like to think that he might be another that would say that I provided him compassionate care, in his own way.

Another running floor conversation was that if psych nurses don’t often receive Daisy Awards, could we give each other an award, such as a Venus Fly Trap Award for doing the best psych nurse things (leading groups, verbal de-escalation, building rapport with a patient who doesn’t trust easy). Who knows what it may evolve into, maybe Daisy Award nominations will be something that happen on my floor at some point in time.

I’ll end this post with some of my favorite quotes about nursing:

“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me, nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them, and they to me, and those threads make up the tapestry that is my career in nursing.” -Donna Wilk Cardillo

“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

“Helping people at their most vulnerable time is a privilege.” (This one feels very applicable to being a psych nurse on an inpatient crisis unit serving children and their families.)

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