On Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, we presented our first DAISY Award to honor and celebrate the skillful, compassionate care nurses provide every day.
Our first recipient is Melissa Carlsson, 17th Street Operating Room Circulating Nurse. Melissa exemplifies Novant Health and Daisy Award's core values of compassion, positivity, professionalism, and teamwork.
In the operating room suite, patients might remember the kind voices, the warm sheets, and someone standing by their side when they slowly drift off to the anesthetic medications. Patients and family, however, are mostly unaware of the nurse’s role to ensure all precautions are taken to perform a quality, uneventful surgical procedure. In addition to all the safety checks and tasks, Melissa's selfless effort comforts anxious patients and their families. Her charismatic "we will get through this together" tone establishes trust when patients are most vulnerable.
Her teammates -- operating room facilitators, operating room specialty nurses, and managers -- can attest to Melissa's unwavering willingness to comfort, support, and serve in any capacity...with the spirit of true positivity and flexibility. In her "free" moments, you will find her going from OR room to OR room, eagerly seeking opportunities to lend her assistance.
On one occasion, a new surgical technician was ending her night shift. She was tearful with feelings of despair about a patient’s loss of life and the emotions associated with organ procurement. Melissa noticed her teammate’s emotional struggle. Melissa listened, reassured, encouraged, and supported her. She shared her past experiences and how she coped with heart-breaking surgical cases. Melissa stayed by her side until our teammate was ready to leave.
Melissa is always willing to help where she’s needed most. When there is a critical staffing need, Melissa volunteers to stay over her 12-hour regular shift to cover surgical patient care. Melissa also signed a 4-week contract to provide night shift coverage for trauma services. And during the pandemic, Melissa supported and assisted in the Emergency Room. She was out of her comfort zone working in a new department, but Melissa offered to go back any time because she was genuinely concerned about her fellow nurses.
For her strength, inspiration, and compassion daily, and for her heartwarming smile, Melissa Carlsson is the first DAISY recipient at NHRMC.
More on the DAISY Award:
The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they deeply appreciated the care and compassion shown to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say "thank you" to nurses in a very public way. Please say thank you by sharing your story of how a nurse made a difference you will never forget! Nomination boxes are available on all nursing floors.