One of Amanda’s best qualities is how, every day, she tirelessly strives to get to know and care for everyone she encounters from her coworkers to her patients and their families. She speaks to everyone she encounters with an affable, easy-going, and personable demeanor. Amanda has the natural ability to make anyone she talks to feel comfortable and acknowledged as unique individuals. On our unit, Amanda is frequently charge nurse at night, a role that she performs with careful consideration and thoughtfulness. She truly has a rare gift for sensing the climate and needs of the floor. Whenever the floor is busy, you will always find Amanda at the forefront, willing to step up and help her coworkers and patients through difficult times. While all of our coworkers have a great sense of teamwork, Amanda stands out as a true leader and pillar of strength and resilience for the unit. Amanda never allows a nurse or tech to be overwhelmed and overworked, offering to assist with admissions, ADL care, treatments, and passing medications. Everyone on the floor is important to Amanda and she asks every single one of our techs and nurses daily how they are, both professionally and personally.
There are countless examples of Amanda’s amazing skill as a nurse, but recently she made a great impression on me with her dedication to advocating for one of our well-known patients. Mr. H is a middle-aged and quiet-natured man with a very advanced cancer diagnosis and an, unfortunately, poor prognosis. Mr. H’s self-report and body language show a constant and debilitating state of pain; however, his reserved nature often seems to prevent him from voicing his needs and concerns. Mr. H has, unfortunately, had many sleepless nights and anxiety attacks during his hospital stay. All of us on 5W care deeply for Mr. H., and we work together to try to provide him with the best care. However, Amanda’s relationship with this patient stands out. One day, after attending a work event, Amanda went by Mr. H’s room to check on him and proceeded to spend an hour sitting and talking with him, one-on-one, while she wasn’t even working. Amanda talked to Mr. H at length, offering herself and listening to his fears and concerns with empathy and humility. Although his future is uncertain and his health situation seems dire, Amanda gently encouraged and empowered Mr. H, speaking to him not with pity and sympathy for his situation but with empathy and understanding.
Later on, even though she was not his primary nurse, Amanda personally and articulately advocated for Mr. H’s pain management and helped have his orders changed to address his intractable pain and nausea. Since talking with Amanda and having his pain medication increased, I’ve noticed Mr. H has been able to rest more easily at night. I’ve also noted how Amanda takes the time to answer calls from Mr. H’s wife to update her on how he is doing. Whenever Mr. H’s wife is able to be on the unit, Amanda is always willing to lend a caring and compassionate ear to allow her to voice her fears, grief, and sadness, while also encouraging her to care for herself to avoid the fatigue that can come from caring for a very ill loved one. Amanda continues to impact Mr. H’s life, and she strives daily to improve both his healthcare and his quality of life.
For her dedication to Mr. H’s well-being, as well as her daily commitment to her unit, patients, and coworkers, Amanda is more than deserving of the DAISY Award. Amanda is a great example of how important conscientiousness, empathy, and attention to detail are to the art of bedside nursing. She embodies the tremendous impact nurses can have on the lives of their patients, and how paramount it is that nurses advocate and empower their patients. It’s truly rewarding to witness how Mr. H. and his wife brighten when told Amanda was scheduled to work on an upcoming night, and how she can bring a smile to his face. Amanda has the singular ability to not only help others open up emotionally and express their feelings during difficult times but to also assist them to find their voice.