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 Patrick was in the hospital that each of his individual nurses was as good as she or he was because of the team surrounding and supporting them.
It was a team of nurses who together put on a special anniversary dinner in Patrick’s room so he and his wife, Tena, could commemorate their 5th anniversary when he was hospitalized.
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 her get it done. When there were crises that 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 of the reasons from DAISY’s start that we asked that Patrick’s gift to his nurses — Cinnabon cinnamon rolls — be shared with everyone in the DAISY Award Honoree’s unit. Most every DAISY Honoree reminds us he or she could not do what they do without their team.
So it was not a surprise when Rachel Behrendt, DNP, RN, AOCNS, then our key contact at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, called and told us about all the DAISY Award nominations they were receiving for teams, led by nurses, doing extraordinary things for patients and their families.
Behrendt 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 teamwork.
Highlights from some of our DAISY Team Honorees
The teamwork demonstrated by our DAISY Team Honorees is indeed exemplary:
- Imagine how we felt when Adventist Health’s leadership chose The DAISY Team Award to honor the extraordinary courage and compassion of their staff who evacuated 62 patients in 45 minutes as the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., destroyed their town. To fully understand the importance of what these nurses experienced and did for their patients, some who were just out of surgery or in childbirth, watch this brief video entitled Angels in Paradise. Get your tissues ready.
- The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center paid tribute to the many nurses who enabled a dying cancer patient to receive her last wish. Her wish was to be in the mother-baby unit to hold the hand of her brand new grandson just delivered while she was in another unit of the hospital.
- At the Atlanta VA, a terminally ill patient scheduled to be intubated wanted to get married prior to 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 were the bridesmaids. The ICU team, anesthesia, respiratory therapy, primary team and chaplin services 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 other professionals — is a sight to behold for all of us.