Habiba Desai

Habiba Desai

Habiba Desai, RN

The Hospital for Sick Children
Toronto, Ontario
Habiba took the initiative to hear their concerns and validate them. If it was in her power to enact change to remedy situations, she would. Habiba was their advocate.

Habiba is a Charge Nurse in the CCCU and one of the most passionate and caring people I have had the pleasure to work with. During a recent conference focused on the management of risks in health care, Habiba was recognized by two families who had lost a child in the CCCU. The purpose of this conference was to have experts speak to the ways in which healthcare professionals can ensure that systems are built to protect patients from harm. These families were asked to share their experiences of having a child who required intensive care in an environment full of risks. Both families spoke to the strength, competence, compassion, and passion of Habiba. During their time in the CCCU, both families discussed their fear of the unknown. They found solace in Habiba who helped them manage their stress and worry during a very difficult time. One family spoke to how all nurses should learn from Habiba as she demonstrated the characteristics needed of a nurse working in high stress and high-risk environment. Habiba brought a sense of normalcy to their lives. She was a friend who they could confide in. She was able to make them feel safe. Both families stated that when Habiba was their nurse or in charge, they knew their children would be cared for, and they could relax. Habiba took the initiative to hear their concerns and validate them. If it was in her power to enact change to remedy situations, she would. Habiba was their advocate.

Habiba's manager, had the following things to say: "She has been part of many patient's core list as their bedside nurse because she is thorough, detail oriented, transparent in her communication and plans, as well keeping them updated either in person or over the phone regarding what the patient's day looks like. This was clearly evident in the two families who spoke so highly of her abilities as a nurse, her compassion and expertise to provide them emotional support along with taking care of their daughters. She has personally offered to be a support to families during difficult conversations around a patient's plan of care or deviated trajectory of care. I was personally involved in a family meeting where she was the core nurse and came truly to support Mom."

In addition to her work as a bedside nurse, Habiba has been a mentor to many nurses in the CCCU. As a student, I remember my first time floating to the CCCU with my 4D Preceptor. I distinctly remember Habiba. She was caring for a patient I had looked after when I was on 4D. She took me aside and provided an amazing education about the patient's surgery. She was warm and welcoming, even though we had just met. When I returned to the CCCU as an RN, Habiba continued to be a support. She made sure I had good assignments as I trained. She would always check in on me. Her friendly and kind personality made it safe to ask questions and to learn. Now that we have been colleagues for almost 4 years, she continues to be my advocate. After I had finished my CRRT training she made sure that I was supported during my first solo shift. It was an especially difficult assignment as the patient was on CRRT and ECMO. Habiba worked with the charge staff to be my room partner and had another nurse available to give me support in case I had questions. It made what could have been a daunting day, very manageable. It also allowed for Habiba to work with the family of the patient so that she could continue the assignment the following day. Providing continuity of care Habiba takes ownership and initiative in the CCCU.

She is the GRASP compliance champion and ensures that all patient work is recorded so that the CCCU has the metrics needed to demonstrate the level of intensive care we provide. She involves herself in quality improvement initiatives and engages key stakeholders and families. Her manager noted that Habiba identifies and coordinates transition meetings for patients with a long length of stay and/or complex journey in the CCCU. As a charge nurse, she always updates management on how the team is doing, patients and their acuity, tentative unit plans for the day, where her priorities are, coordinating care, transfers, and transports, and is always open about where and when she needs support.

The DAISY Award is meant to recognized excellence and compassionate care in nursing. Habiba exemplifies both. Her skill is beyond measure and is easily recognized by families and colleagues. Her personality brings calm and ease. She navigates stressful situations and strives to reduce risk. She was recently nominated for the STAPH Award because of her diligence in reducing infection rates within the CCCU. Everyone who meets Habiba feels instant friendship. She exudes positivity and hopefulness. She goes out of her way to introduce herself to all the families when she is in charge and provides an open dialogue so that they can discuss their needs, how the CCCU is meeting them, and what we can do better. She works with bedside staff to address concerns and improve patient care. The Hospital for Sick Children is full of amazing nurses. I work with many of them. But there are a few who truly stand out and deserve to be recognized. Habiba is truly a DAISY Nurse.