Leisl Knoesen

Leisl Knoesen, RN

Operating Room
Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California
Sacramento, California
United States

I am very pleased to present today's DAISY award to an Operating Room nurse who has earned the praise of the surgeons, TEAM anesthesia, her colleagues, and most importantly the patients.

You don't always think of an OR nurse as really interacting with the patients, because we think of the patient asleep and under anesthesia. But this nurse takes the time to know the kids. She listens to them when they are scared and and distracts them by just having a little fun with them. The big smile on her face and calm approachable manner kind of draws the kids in, and they know they will be safe with her, and everything will be okay.

Now there are some times in nursing that are difficult and carrying out our responsibilities can be challenging. Our hospital recently faced one of those times, with the death of a 6 year old girl, badly burned in a car explosion. Out of this tragedy, came the opportunity to give 4 other people a chance at life. Her parents generously offered to allow organ donation so her little life would live on in others. She gave her corneas, liver, kidneys, heart and lungs.

The removal of the organs was completed in our Operating Room, a procedure which in my memory was only done once or twice in this facility since we opened our doors in 1997. Surgeons we don't know, instruments we don't use and unfamiliar processes create a tense atmosphere and very grueling working conditions. As the surgeons neared the heart there was an unexpected pooling of blood in the chest cavity which obscured their view of the surgical field. Tensions rose in the room, surgeons began to raise their voices yet-literally within a matter of seconds, the nurse had set up additional suction and the procedure continued without disruption.

At the conclusion of this case, this nurse stayed with the child's body and kindly removed the tattered dressings, bathed her and left her in a respectful, dignified state. I was told that the team tending to this child in death, put a flower in her hair.

You are an extraordinary nurse and so deserve this honor, Leisl Knoesen.

Congratulate Leisl Knoesen