Desi has been the Nurse Leader for the Postpartum unit at Kaiser Permanente Anaheim for over a decade. During this time, she has brought innovation to the unit, creating a cohesive working environment, and producing successful results. Outlasting difficult times during leadership restructuring, Desi has led her team with grace. Every morning, she begins staff huddles with a two-minute meditation and challenges the nurses to set goals for themselves. Her open-door policy has allowed her staff to create trust and a bond that makes them a true working family.
As a nurse leader, Desi looks at trended data to increase patient satisfaction scores, improve safety within the unit, and focus on core measures to help drive success. Recently, she implemented a medication side effects education booklet so that patients will have a better understanding of the medications they are being given and which side effects they may experience. When exclusive breastfeeding results were not meeting the Joint Commission benchmark, she created a multidisciplinary team to delve into where the shortcomings were and created a new process that has helped to increase the scores by 13%. When staffing became an issue on weekends, with the assistance of our Labor Partners, Desi made the difficult and controversial decision to restructure the weekend requirements, which ultimately led to safer staffing levels and overall staff satisfaction. Her next mission was to improve attendance amongst her staff. After taking the time to individually meet with nurses and ancillary staff on an ongoing basis, Desi was able to improve the attendance record of the unit by 30%. As of the first quarter 2020, Postpartum was finally off the Top 20 Attendance list!
Desi also understands the importance of delegating and has encouraged staff involvement with many leadership implementations. She has equipped and enabled her charge nurses to take ownership of the "Nurse Leader" title by encouraging daily rounding on patients. This has helped to build their confidence in conflict resolution and service recovery. It is through her drive, tenacity, empathy, and determination that has helped to model to her staff what embodies a true leader.