“Helping patients through their anxiety is one of the most important parts of my job,” says Dawn McMahon, LPN, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine and Podiatry. “Things that seem simple to us are often traumatic for patients. Reading them so you can help isn’t something you can learn. You either have it or you don’t.”
McMahon has it. She recently received a DAISY Award that recognizes her ability to forge patient relationships that facilitate their treatment and recovery.
A colleague who works in D-H’s Benefits Department nominated McMahon. When her son B suffered a concussion during football practice, he was very nervous about what it meant for his athletic future. Fortunately for him, McMahon was on the case.
“Dawn created an atmosphere that made us both comfortable,” wrote her nominator. “She addressed B personally and asked him questions. It’s important for a teenager to recognize he has a role in his own care and he felt she respected his thoughts and feelings.”
McMahon helped find appointment times that didn’t delay B’s clearance to play, something that was very important to him. She communicated with the physician who was out of town to ensure continuity of care and kept the school informed. And she lifted B’s spirits by laughing over shared jokes. “For follow up appointments, B planned the joke he was going to tell Dawn which gave him something to look forward to despite his dread of tests,” said B’s mother.
The connection made a difference. “It’s hard for a teenager to listen to advice they don’t want to hear but B did and he thought about what I said,” says McMahon. “He was able to make good decisions on his own.”
“LPNs need to be bold on behalf of their patients,” says McMahon’s nurse manager. “Dawn advocates for hers 100 percent. She often does best with patients and cases that are difficult for other people. Dawn is not afraid of a challenge which is a rare quality. She never gives up on anyone.”
“Every time Dawn and I take a break and go for a walk people shout ‘Hey Dawn! Hi Dawn!’ and she shouts back ‘How are you feeling? How’s that shoulder?” says her nurse manager. “Everyone knows her. She’s made a difference for so many people.”
B’s mom knows why McMahon has cultivated a strong patient following. “She has a way about her that gives patients the ability to trust and feel they are cared for and the only patient in the world.”