Grace is the kind of person who exudes kindness and compassion everywhere she goes, and it is especially present in her role as a nurse. The DAISY Award recognizes nurses who are nurturing, kind, and empathetic as well as confident and competent care. They act as advocates for their patients and their families always and all of these qualities and more are exemplified in Grace. No matter what patient assignment she is given, Grace treats every child as her own. She is not afraid to go the extra length to advocate on her patient's behalf.
Grace recently took care of a medically complex baby. The patient was having multiple seizure events and although her vital signs remained stable, the mother of the patient confided in Grace that she felt something was not right. Grace advocated for her patient and family and communicated these concerns with the physicians. Due to the lack of change in the vital signs, the physicians were not initially motivated to further care. However, Grace used her nursing judgment and the word of the mother to push for the physicians to come to the bedside, putting off her lunch break to let the mother of the patient voice her concerns to someone who would listen. The patient ended up requiring a change in medication to control her seizures.
If you asked Grace about this experience, she would simply reply that she was doing her job; however, to that mother and that patient, it meant being taken care of and being heard. It's beyond what is listed under the job description. It is believing in the families she cares for and being a voice for them where they otherwise would not have one.
Her empathy goes beyond what the patients require within the hospital setting. Grace understands that life goes on outside of these four walls. We recently had a baby awaiting a new foster family to take her home. Although her coworkers wanted to play with her well into the night, Grace knew that allowing her to stay up late with the staff was going to build habits that her new family would have to eventually manage. She made sure to establish a bedtime at a reasonable hour and would provide her care around that established schedule to ensure the patient was going to go home with a normal schedule.
Having only been a nurse for two years, she is wise and competent beyond her years. Grace steps up to be a resource whenever she has a spare minute. She is never too busy to lend a hand and she has an extraordinary ability to anticipate the needs of others. She will step up and help without having to be asked. She is the kind of nurse that can walk into a room and everyone in her presence knows they are going to be safe in her care. She began precepting after just about a year of experience and she has stepped up to be the co-chair for unit council. She is not a vocal leader but rather a leader through her actions and attitude.
Since Grace joined the 6 Henson team, she has left every shift making it better than when she came on. Recently, on a night she should have been placed on call due to reduced census, she stayed to resource for her teammates, stock medication rooms, and help clean. During this time, our resource coordinator was on leave of absence. Everyone on the unit was asked to step up and help out. Grace took this instruction without complaint, going above and beyond what was expected while maintaining a positive attitude. She even offered to take a patient with only an hour left of the shift instead of leaving to head home early because she knew it would take the burden off a teammate. Grace is a leader, a friend, and an outstanding nurse, and she embodies what it means to be a Children's Mercy nurse.