I’ve always said that there is never enough praise in this profession. Never enough “Hey, good job with that difficult family….” Or “Hey, thanks for staying late to take care of that situation.” Just never enough praise in this profession….period. As a matter of fact, when you DO hear from management or higher ups, it’s typically never a good thing. I always dread when my work phone number comes up on my cell phone on a day off. My thoughts are always, “What now?” It just feels that you sometimes can’t catch a break, no matter HOW much good you do in this profession. (Side note, my managers I have at my current position are pretty good about this, but past employers…absolutely not.) And this, ladies and gentleman, is why I absolutely LOVE the DAISY foundation. The DAISY foundation was founded by a couple who decided that after the amazing care that was given to them in their hospital stay with their son, Patrick Barnes, they wanted to honor nurses for the extraordinary people that they are, and the care that they give. Bonnie and Mark Barnes were parents to Patrick Barnes. Patrick was a two time Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor, but also had a rare condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura ( ITP). He had been admitted the the hospital back in 1999 and was there for a few weeks in the ICU. He was suffering from some complications of ITP. Sadly, Patrick did not make it, and the Barnes had just lost their strong, caring, and beautiful son who endured so much in his short life! Many don’t know the struggle it is to lose a child, but there are a few out there who do. One thing that I have learned being close to a family who lost their daughter in a terrible car accident, is that they never want her to be forgotten. They never want her legacy to stop living on. And they have found ways to do that. This is exactly what Patrick Barnes’ family did! They wanted Patrick’s legacy to live on and his spirit of wanting to help others! And after much thought and deliberation, they realized how touched they were by the nursing care during their stay at the hospital! Nurses were at their beside all the time and getting them through those hard days and nights! Taking time to translate fancy terminology, interpreting lab and test results, talking to Patrick even when they didn’t know if he could hear, and constantly updating them of Patrick’s condition. It touched them so much that they decided they wanted to allow Patrick’s legacy to live on by honoring NURSES! Yes….that’s right. This family was so touched by the things that we do on a daily basis that they wanted their son who passed, to be honored by honoring US! I don’t think a picture can get any more beautiful than that!
The DAISY award was created from all of this. The organization’s mission has been implemented in thousands of facilities in 14 different countries! Patients and peers have the opportunity to nominate a nurse for something extraordinary that they did for a patient personally or just being an amazing co-worker! I like to call them ” DAISY moments.” All of the entries are recorded by the facility’s designated administrator for the DAISY award. If you are nominated by someone, you will receive a really cute Daisy flower pin to recognize you and a certificate (an awesome honor)! After all of the years nominees are in, they pick one story about a nurse and honor them with the DAISY Award of excellence. It has become a very prestigious award in this field, but some people still don’t know about it! I am ALL about building up nurses and making their amazing care and efforts not go unknown! This is why I want to share this foundation with you today!
I had the compete honor of interviewing the Co-Founder of the DAISY foundation, Bonnie Barnes! I got to ask a few questions and she kindly answered them all with such grace and careful thought! I am SO excited to share this beautiful foundation with you!!
1. What does receiving a DAISY Award mean for nurses/ what characteristics describe a DAISY recipient?
Bonnie: Nurses who are honored with The DAISY Award are usually very surprised. They don’t see that they have done anything that deserves recognition. The most common response to hearing their name called as the Honoree is, “I didn’t do anything special. I was just doing my job.” Yet when they are celebrated with The DAISY Award among their peers in their unit, with friends and family present – even the patient who wrote the nomination – they are deeply proud. Here is an example of what one Honoree wrote to me, “I cannot tell you how incredibly special this DAISY Award has been to me. It may sound crazy, but having received this award has made me a better nurse. The sense of pride that I feel when people that I barely know come up to congratulate me and tell me that no one deserves it more, it brings tears to my eyes each time. I honestly love to come to work every day. I love what I do, and who I do it with. I take such pride in being a … nurse.” For more quotes from DAISY Nurses and nurses who have brought The DAISY Award to their organizations, please visit http://daisyfoundation.org/daisy-award/voices.
Like the description of you, Kelsey, written by your patient as a nomination for The DAISY Award, DAISY Honorees are excellent clinicians who go “above and beyond” in their compassion, sensitivity, and kindness to their patients and families. These nurses are tuned in to what their patients/families need, seeing them as more than patients but human beings who are deeply vulnerable at the time of their interaction – in pain, afraid, in a very unfamiliar environment, out of control. DAISY Nurses are focused and present for their patients, great listeners, wonderful communicators both in words and actions, and they are comforting. They are consummate team players. Powerful advocates for their patients and families. Persistent. Creative in their care. Deeply compassionate. Some of them even sing to their patients. (I could go on and on, but hopefully, you get it.)
2. If there is one thing about the DAISY Award/Organization that you would want people to know ( that they might not) , what would it be? ( this can be anything like how many places it’s in, the story behind the statues, etc….)
Bonnie: Our family was so touched by the care we experienced when our Patrick was hospitalized for 8 weeks that we created The DAISY Foundation to say Thank You to nurses. We are profoundly grateful for the extraordinary care you provide and the dedication of your lives to caring for us. That is our mission, pure and simple. We say thank you by celebrating and honoring extraordinary nurses in over 2,100 healthcare facilities in all 50 states and 14 other countries. By sharing the stories of extraordinary compassion and skill, we hope we remind nurses why they became nurses to begin with and support them throughout their careers.
3. When you and your family were at Patrick’s side in your stay at the hospital, what was it about the nurses that made you realize that this profession was truly unique in how they cared?
Bonnie: We were blown away by the way Patrick’s nurses talked to him, touched him, took care of him – even when he was fully sedated, and we didn’t know what he could hear or sense. Additionally, their attention to us as a family made a tremendous difference in our experience in the hospital. They never seemed rushed. They were wonderful interpreters of a complex medical situation. They engaged us as part of Patrick’s care team. And they never let us lose hope until it was time to say goodbye to him.
4. For the hospitals and organizations that don’t have the DAISY Foundation working with them, how do they get the Program implemented in their facility?
Bonnie: Our goal is to provide an evidence-based, turn-key program to healthcare organizations who share our belief that nurses can never have enough recognition. All an organization needs to do is to visit our website and complete our request for information form at http://daisyfoundation.org/what-daisy-award/request-information-about-daisy-award. We will reply immediately with an email explaining how the program works. Once the organization commits, we will work closely with their DAISY Committee to orient them and provide everything they need to have a very successful and meaningful recognition program. If the organization is looking for ways to honor other members of the care team who are not nurses, we will even assist them in creating a recognition program for “non-nurses.”
5. Anything else/ advice that you
Would like to share with the nurses in the world about the Foundation or in general? ( this question is optional!)
Bonnie: Two things-
The evidence describing the impact of meaningful recognition/The DAISY Award is powerful. The impact of stopping and celebrating all the “right” that goes on in a healthcare facility is now documented in many research studies, conducted by The DAISY Foundation and many others. We are happy to share the data.
In terms of “advice” to nurses:
I passionately wish that nurses could feel the impact they have every day on their patients and families and never take for granted how important this work is. The big, life-saving things nurses do and the little things they do make them heroes to their patients and families. When the work is at its hardest, please don’t ever forget why you became a nurse, and know how grateful we are for all you do every day. THANK YOU!
And Thank You, Kelsey, for the opportunity to share our message with you readers. As you know, when Patrick died, my husband Mark and I felt compelled to say Thank You to nurses for all they had done for us. It has been the support of nurses like you who have made DAISY the international movement it has become. Thank you thank you thank you!
As yall can see, this foundation has a BEAUTIFUL heart and wants to shine light on the amazing nurses in this world. If you want to get this implemented into your facility, or just nominate someone deserving, visit www.DaisyFoundation.org. Love on your patients. Smile when its hard. And have those “DAISY moments.” Your heart is mine!