When we started The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, we knew we needed a way to ensure that celebrating teamwork was a part of our award ceremony.
After all, it was clear to us when our son Patrick was in the hospital that his individual nurses were good at their jobs because of the team surrounding and supporting them. It was a team of nurses who together put on a special dinner in Patrick’s room so he and his wife, Tena, could commemorate their fifth anniversary.
It took teamwork to deal with the challenge of getting an IV into Patrick’s arm. When one nurse struggled, another was there to soothe him and help the other nurse get it done.
When a crisis threatened Patrick’s life, we watched teams of nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists and others apply their clinical excellence as a team.
Celebrating teamwork was one reason from DAISY’s start that we asked for Patrick’s gift to his nurses – Cinnabon cinnamon rolls – to be shared with everyone in the DAISY Award Honoree’s unit. Most every DAISY Honoree reminds us she or he could not do what they do without a team.
Angels in Paradise rise up in the face of disaster
Imagine how we felt, for instance, when Adventist Health’s leadership chose The DAISY Team Award to honor the extraordinary courage and compassion of their staff at the Adventist Health Feather River facility.
Staff members evacuated 62 patients in 45 minutes as the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., destroyed their town. For a time, these nurses did not think they would survive, let alone be able to help their patients.
To fully understand what these nurses experienced and did for their patients — some of whom were just out of surgery or in childbirth — please watch this brief video entitled Angels in Paradise. Get your tissues ready.
DAISY Award for the whole team
So it was not a surprise when Rachel Behrendt, DNP, RN, AOCNS, then our key contact at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, called and told us of all the DAISY Award nominations they were receiving for nurse-led teams doing extraordinary things for patients and their families.
Rachel asked if they could present a DAISY Team Award each year, selecting the team to be honored in a high-integrity process from among those nominations, just as they chose their monthly individual honorees. Of course! We were only sorry we had not thought of it ourselves.
We introduced The DAISY Team Award in 2013, and it has been a great addition to our statement of gratitude to nurses. Its acceptance is no doubt due, in part, to the increased emphasis in healthcare on interprofessional teams.
The teamwork demonstrated by our DAISY Team Honorees is indeed exemplary and it includes the following amazing stories:
- Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital honored its ED/trauma staff that dealt with an influx of victims of a plane crash on a runway at San Francisco International Airport.
- The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center paid tribute to the many nurses who enabled a patient with cancer, who was dying, to receive her last wish – to be in the mother/baby unit to hold the hand of her brand-new grandson.
- Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital honored its courageous nurses who cared for Ebola patients. These nurses put themselves and their families at risk because not only were they exceedingly well-trained for the situation, but also because they couldn’t imagine not caring for their patients.
- At the Atlanta VA Medical Center, a terminally ill patient who was scheduled to be intubated, wanted to get married before intubation so he could say his vows. The nurses arranged for the judge, purchased the bridal bouquet, ring, cake, bubbles and ice cream for the event. The nurses also served as the bridesmaids. The ICU, anesthesia, respiratory therapy, primary and chaplain services teams all went above and beyond to make this day memorable for the couple.
Nurses are so worthy of our gratitude, wherever they practice and in whatever stage of their careers they may be. Witnessing how they work together — with other nurses and professionals — is a sight to behold for all of us for whom nurses care.
Read more about The DAISY Foundation in this special digital edition.