Irenia Arillaga
May 2017
Surgical ICU
UC Irvine Medical Center
United States




There are many situations I can think of that Irenia reserves the DAISY Award for. She is the epitome of what it stands for: kind, caring, hard-working, and always putting the patient first. But last night, a situation occurred in which she went above and beyond. It was her first night back from maternity leave in which she was off the unit for five months. She had two patients: one vascular patient that required Doppler checks at eight different sites every hour and needed a lot of support psychologically, and a new neurology patient. After spending the first hour of the shift comforting her vascular patient while the doctors were performing a painful dressing change, her neurology patient started having uncontrolled seizures. So while giving the STAT Ativan, calling the EEG tech, and starting pressors to help his blood pressure, Irenia also made the time to call the patient's wife to update her as to the patient's condition. The night did not get any easier from there. The vascular patient was frequently on the call light, screaming and crying, the paging system was down so she was having to track down doctors from different departments to get the right orders, and she was trying to acclimate herself with all the new changes in our charting system since she had been off. Finally, at around 0430, she got the news that her neurology patient was going to be transferred to the neuro ICU. Even with everything else going on that night, Irenia recruited all of us to help her give him a bath and get him cleaned up. Even though she was behind on her charting, even though she had been on her feet for 9 hours, even though it would have been so easy to pass it off to the neuro ICU nurses receiving the patient, Irenia would never pass the buck like that. I am proud to work alongside Irenia. I know my co-workers feel the same way and we agree she is a true DAISY!