As a resource nurse, there is no one else I would want in my room. She anticipates your needs, helps with every task no matter how big or small, and always manages to find time to teach newer staff (and older staff like me) a million tiny tips and tricks to make their jobs easier. Her coworkers say that she is "the person you want by your side no matter what. For the sickest kid, she will be the hardest worker in the room. For that exhausting bipap pair, she can make you laugh and smile through Q1 hour diaper changes".
All of these things are true about Shanda, and part of what makes her the amazing nurse that she is, but they're not why I am nominating her for The DAISY Award.
What makes her extraordinary is the care that she gives to our chronic patients. These kids can be the hardest population we work with. They are here constantly, they often have no family that can be present due to their seemingly constant admissions, and the amount of physical and emotional energy it takes to care for them is frequently above what most of our patients require. That doesn't stop her. About four years ago our unit stopped requiring nurses to take primary patients. That didn't stop her. Shanda continued to not only care for these patients but to sign up as primary for not just one but MANY of these kiddos.
Many nurses provide great care for these kids, Shanda provides incredible care. She truly takes care of these kids like they are her own. Clinically her advocation and her attention to detail help these kids heal faster and discharge sooner. But beyond that, you will often find Shanda singing with a young kid with Down Syndrome or dancing with a nasally intubated patient who many nurses are afraid to even take out of bed. In an ICU where we are often so focused on clinical care that we forget the little things, Shanda not only provides phenomenal clinical care but also takes care of every one of her patients like she would her own child. She does hair, talks to them, dances, sings, laughs, and plays with them. She remembers that each one of these kids with their many many challenges are just that – kids, and she never forgets to take the time to let them be kids. I have seen many parents visibly relax and know that they can go deal with the endless things that they need to take care of in life when their child is in Shanda's hands. As a nurse and a mother, I am impressed, in awe, and would trust her with my children in a heartbeat, which is the highest compliment I know how to give.
Shanda is a true DAISY Nurse.