TROY – Once a month, nursing professionals at Upper Valley Medical Center pause briefly from their tasks to formally recognize a member for providing extraordinary care.
For nearly 10 years, UVMC has been saluting excellence in nursing by participating in the DAISY Award, now an international recognition program.
“The DAISY Award is a wonderful way to recognize the effect nurses have on those they care for. Often, nurses are not aware of the positive impact they make in a patient’s health journey, which is why most of us became nurses,” said Trish Wackler, UVMC chief nursing officer.
“When we recognize a nurse with a Daisy Award, I can see how proud nurses are of the work they are doing and that is important to ensure that nurses know they are fulfilling the purpose for the work they do,” she said.
The DAISY Award was established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died in 1999 at age 33 of complications of an auto-immune disease. His family was so impressed by the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses that they created this award program to show appreciation for nurses everywhere. The award was first given at UVMC in late 2010.
“It is important to recognize nurses and help realize their value and contributions. It helps empower them and reinforces they are doing a great job,” said Jenna Geuy, a registered nurse for 33 years who coordinates the program.
Many nominations come from patients and family members. Fellow nursing colleagues, physicians and staff also can nominate a nurse. Recipients are selected by a committee.
The recognition is held on the nursing unit with the nursing leadership team along with the recipient’s coworkers. The presentation is a surprise.
That presentation “hopefully energizes the rest of the unit,” Geuy said. Although a nurse at times may not be recognized for several months after their interaction with a patient, the patients remember them, she said.
Nomination criteria include compassion, skills, leading by example, being a team player, going above and beyond, making a difference, persistence, attention to detail, communication, professionalism, and exceptional nursing.
Robin Medrano, a wound/ostomy nurse, was the first UVMC nurse recognized with a DAISY Award. She continues to work at UVMC as a nurse, a profession she has loved since 1986. Over the years, she worked in home health, management, as a medical-surgical staff nurse, and as a night shift supervisor.
Medrano continues to work with wound/ostomy patients.
She said she was honored to receive the DAISY Award and today serves on the committee that selects recipients. “I am glad they chose this program to honor bedside nurses,” she said. “It represents what they do best daily that other people don’t see.”
Many award recipients have been in the profession “forever” because they “love it for a variety of reasons,” Medrano said.
To learn more about the DAISY foundation visit, www.DAISYfoundation.org.