Congratulations to eight Special Care Unit (SCU) nurses at Little Company of Mary Hospital (LCMH) who recently received the DAISY Award for Excellence. Andrea Brown nominated these outstanding nurses and listed the below reasons why they are so very deserving of the DAISY Award:
“I would like to nominate the nurses of the Special Care Unit for the DAISY Award. I’m not sure if you can nominate an entire unit, but the entire unit deserves recognition, so here goes….
My son Oliver was born at 32 weeks, 4 days. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be the mother of a preemie, but on June 9th, that became my reality. June 11th will forever be the worst day of my life…it was the day I left the hospital without my baby. I still can’t talk about it because I get so emotional. As a mother, there is no worse pain than being away from your child.
The only thing that slightly eased that pain was knowing my son was in good hands. I truly believe that the only reason I was able to walk out of his room every night was because I knew the women taking care of him would treat him like their own. They are amazing, amazing individuals. Each one brought me and my family comfort in a different way. I’d like to elaborate on that by explaining why each nurse was so special.
- Sonya – There are two things that I will always remember about Sonya. First, she would always talk to Oliver in a baby voice and call him “Bud.” It made me so happy to know that he was getting talked to the way that I would talk to him if he was at home. Hospitals are so clinical and sterile …she made it less so. I still call him “Bud” and think I always will. Second, she always gave Oliver a bath on her shift. Again, this may not seem like a big deal, but when your baby smells like Johnson & Johnson, instead of an incubator bed, it made me so happy. It’s the little things that make all the difference to a mother. I knew he would always be fresh and clean when Sonya was working.
- Chrissy – I’ve always felt uncomfortable crying in front of people, but Chrissy somehow made me feel comfortable. Most of our talks ended in tears (sometimes from both of us) and that release of emotion was very therapeutic for me. She opened up to me about her own children being in the NICU and I felt like she really understood and could relate to what I was going through. I believe she also brought in preemie clothes for my son (someone did). The first time I saw Oliver in clothes I completely lost it. I know it seems simple, but to see your baby (who up to this point has been naked and wrapped in wires) look like a normal newborn, meant everything. I think I have Chrissy to thank for that. She is a very special nurse.
- Pat – She is literally the nicest person I have ever met in my life. How do you think it made me and my husband feel to know that our baby was being taken care of by the nicest person on the planet? It made us feel fantastic.
- Mary – I don’t have a specific example of why I loved Mary so much….she just has a warmth about her. She’s a very genuine person and I think that’s why I felt so comfortable around her. She helped me bottle feed Oliver for the first few times and I’m glad it was her. She always met me with the biggest smile and I felt that my family’s triumphs were her triumphs …like she was really invested in us. She was the one who was there when Oliver was transferred to a normal crib. I walked in and said, “They were supposed to transfer Oliver today,” and she said, “why don’t you go in and see” and of course, there he was out of the incubator. She was there a minute later rubbing my back and giving me a hug. She knew it was a great day for us and she was there in a way I needed her to be. I’ll never forget Mary.
- Nancy – Then there’s Nancy. She will always hold a very special place in my heart. The first time I met Nancy, she was very clinical and went over everything my husband and I needed to know about Oliver’s stay at the hospital. She showed us how to work everything (“back up when opening the bed or you’ll get decapitated”) and she encouraged us to be as hands on as possible (something I would appreciate later on). The second time I met Nancy she sat next to me as I was holding Oliver and started reading through a magazine I brought. We ended up talking about beauty and politics for the next 45 minutes. At first I was confused by our conversation but I now realize that it was probably her way of taking my mind off the situation and also building a rapport with me. After that, I always felt comfortable when Nancy was working. She’s also very matter-of-fact, which I think was helpful. Sometimes you don’t need to cry…sometimes you need to hear and understand what is going on with your child and what to expect. She’s smart as a whip and I knew Oliver was in good hands when she was around. On the day leading up to Oliver’s discharge, I found out Nancy was working and I said to my husband, “if any one of those nurses is going to get Oliver out of there, it’s going to be Nancy.” I just knew she would get my son home to me and for that I will always love her.
- Oliver’s other nurses included Theresa, Carrie and Sue. I would like to thank all of them for caring for me and my son.
I hope you will share this letter with your staff. I want them to know how special they are and how important their job is. I will never, ever forget them for the rest of my life. I wish I won the lottery so I could give them each a million dollars. Even that wouldn’t be enough. But all I have to give are my words and my thanks. It takes a special calling to be a NICU nurse, and they all have it.”
What is the DAISY Award? The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. Little Company of Mary Hospital is proud to be a DAISY Award Partner, recognizing one of our nurses with this special honor every month. These nurses consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise and especially their extraordinary compassionate care. They are recognized as outstanding role models in our nursing community.
Calling all mummies and daddies for a spooktacular time! On Sunday, October 29th, LCMH will hose its annual Special Care Unit Halloween Gathering from 12 to 3 p.m. in Cafe 95 at the Hospital. Feel free to wear your Halloween finest! There also will be a special Car Seat Check- Up Event in the Hospital’s North Pavilion Parking Lot. Car seat installation and check-up is FREE!
How Can YOU Nominate An Extraordinary Nurse for the DAISY Award?
Patients, families and visitors may nominate a deserving nurse by:
1) Fill out the online form and hit submit.
2) Print and fill out the attached nomination form. You can mail the form to: 2800 West 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805, ATTN: Lisa DiMarco-or you can drop off the form at the Main or 94th Street entrance of the hospital.