I have the pleasure of working alongside Angela Romack for the past 5 years and Angela is a perfect example of what a DAISY Nurse represents. Angela demonstrates kindness and compassion towards patients and families while showing her peers a strong sense of loyalty and commitment. Working in the NICCU, it is an extremely stressful unit where parents are scared and overwhelmed when they enter this unknown world.
I had the task of admitting a critical patient, who came with a rare condition. The mother was distraught as she began to tell me that everything seemed “fine and normal” just the day before and she had brought her newborn home over a week ago. Angela was the unit’s resource nurse (a role where a nurse does not have a patient assignment but is a resource to help for all the nurses and float throughout the unit) and was able to help stabilize the patient upon arrival. We were busy getting blood work, starting medications, establishing IV access, etc. However, Angela told me she “got this” because we both knew that the mother was crying and overwhelmed. I was able to step away from the patient’s bedside and offer emotion support. The next few hours flew by as we continued to stabilize the patient.
A few days later, I was assigned to this patient once again. However, this patient’s condition had worsened tremendously from when I left him that weekend. The parents were at the bedside, half asleep-sitting up, disheveled and exhausted. The doctors were aware of the patient’s change in status and immediately ordered for a stat MRI. Angela was the unit’s resource nurse and I called her for help. She was able to change out all the IV tubing to the extended MRI IV tubing, helped push in a blood transfusion and gave all medications that were due.
After returning to the unit from MRI, Angela was waiting for my arrival. She helped me stabilize the patient and help get everything situated. However, I was soon informed by the OR nurse that surgery was scheduled for the patient within the hour. Everything was so rushed that I felt that I wasn’t given any time to explain to the parents what was happening. However, while I was off the unit in MRI, Angela was there consoling the parents and helping to explain to them what was going on.
In the end, the patient had passed in OR. And Angela helped me escort the parents and family to the OR consultation room. Per the family’s request, they wanted the child back in the room in the unit to say their final goodbyes. Angela made sure to take care of transporting the patient back while she allowed me to stay with the parents and family downstairs. When the family was ready to come back to the unit, Angela was there waiting for us. She helped place the patient in the mother’s arms and stayed with me in that room for emotional support. While we watched the family grieve, cry and pray, Angela was my main support during this time. We both said a quiet prayer together as I reached out for her hand and she gave me a big squeeze. During this time, we hardly said a word, but we knew that our presence was loud enough for the family.
I am grateful for Angela’s humility and her extraordinary care and compassion she has shown towards both my patient’s family and me. Angela’s dedication and commitment to stay with me for the entire shift, making sure that she would be available to me and to help me, showed her sense of loyalty. I know she would have shown the same loyalty towards any of her colleagues and peers. Knowing Angela, she probably felt that she didn’t do anything special and she was just doing her job, but in reality, she has a deep sense of pride in her work and Angela inspires all of us to provide great quality of care for all of our patients and families.