I recently had a wonderful experience of getting reacquainted with an area of nursing I love. On my first day on this unit, I had an opportunity to witness the caring and love this staff displayed towards one of their patients. A patient came to the unit for their treatment and Renee had a hair bow for this patient as a gift. Renee said, “I got this for you because you love hair bows.” The patient was so excited to get the bow. The patient had her hair in a ponytail with a bow on already, and it was plain that this patient loved bows. Next, Renee gave her a hand full of lollipops and the patient was equally happy. Her grin took up half her face. The phrase “her face lit up like a light bulb” was clearly demonstrated. I’ve never seen a patient’s face get so bright as when she received that hair bow and then the lollipops.
I spent many days in the unit and every time the patient came in, Renee would look up and excitedly welcome the patient regardless of what she was doing; she also made it a point to have some lollipops for her. When the patient came into the unit on Renee’s day off, the first thing she would ask is where is Renee? This patient loved her, and I believe the feeling is mutual.
On the patient’s birthday, the staff went to her bedside and gave her a birthday party. They had presents, cake, and lollipops. As they were saying goodbye, the patient asked specifically where Renee was. Renee had dyed her hair and the patient didn’t recognize her. Of course, all those in her room, including the patient, had a big laugh about that. What was remarkable to me was out of that room full of staff who had left their unit to come to her room and those who had driven in from home on their day off, who the patient most wanted to be at her birthday party, was Renee. As I’ve described this relationship, many would think I was talking about a pediatric patient, instead, I’m talking about an adult patient who appears to have some mild cognitive impairment secondary to her disease process.
At some point, this patient had to be transferred to our secure unit because of her behaviors on her geographical unit. She was a long term, hard to place patient and Renee went out of her way to make sure she felt loved and special. I’m convinced that due to the way she was treated by Renee and the staff, the behaviors that sent her to our secure unit were never exhibited in this unit.
The DAISY Award is about the exceptional care nurses give, and Renee truly deserves this award. This is just one example of how this nurse demonstrates the values that the DAISY Award honors. I could write another one about how Renee made me feel as I came to her unit to become reacquainted with this area, and how we treat our patients and make them feel, is why we became nurses.