I would like to nominate my colleague, Morgan Baumgartner, for the DAISY award for being a role model not only for patient advocacy but also for patient-family centered communication and care. Morgan was assigned to an elderly patient with ALS who suffered from severe difficulty swallowing and needed a feeding tube inserted for nutrition. The patient was extremely reluctant to have this procedure, but eventually decided to have the tube inserted after numerous discussions with his family, nursing staff, and physician. After the procedure, the patient complained of severe, ongoing abdominal pain uncharacteristic for this procedure. Recognizing this significant change in the patient’s baseline condition, Morgan repeatedly voiced her concerns to the physician. At first, her concerns did not attract much attention, but her dogged determination in relaying those concerns convinced the physician to investigate the abdominal pain.
The patient underwent exploratory surgery where it was found that the patient had a perforated colon. The patient’s wife, who could not be present because they lived out of state, was very worried and anxious about her husband’s condition. Morgan alleviated her fears by including the wife in the daily plan of care with a constant stream of communication and by providing the wife her cell phone number so that the wife could call with any questions. Morgan in essence became the wife’s lifeline during this frightening event.
What is truly remarkable and so inspiring about this event is that Morgan is a new graduate with minimal clinical nursing experience to draw from in relation to realizing the potential for patient complications. Despite this, her intuition and her steadfast communication with the patient, physician, and family led to a positive patient outcome. As an experienced nurse, I appreciate and applaud Morgan for her persistence because most new graduates do not have the confidence to act upon their instincts. The above experience is just one example of her ability to provide individualized nursing care to a patient. She most certainly deserves to be recognized for her contribution to excellence in nursing care.