All invited to nominate nurses for the DAISY Award

A hand-carved stone statue, "A Healer's Touch" is presented to each DAISY Award winner
A hand-carved stone statue, “A Healer’s Touch” is presented to each DAISY Award winner

Aside from parents welcoming a new addition to their family, hospitals are just about no one’s favorite place to be. They can be frightening, frustrating places, but nurses know that. Great nurses are the ones who walk the extra steps or offer the special touches to reduce stress for patients and their families.

Those are the nurses Greene County Medical Center wants to recognize with the DAISY Award, an award that is presented at hospitals all over the globe to celebrate extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses.

The DAISY Award at Greene County Medical Center was first given in August of 2014 to Jenny Taylor. DAISY Awards have since been given to Laine Custer in November 2014 and to Lori Harrah last April.

The DAISY Award is presented twice a year, and the committee is now preparing for an award ceremony slated for Nov. 19. The committee extends an invitation to members of the community to recognize a nurse who took special care by nominating her or him for the award.

Becky Wolf, director of public health at the medical center and a member of the DAISY committee explains, “We want to garner nominations for the nurses who touch people’s hearts. There’s a fine line between doing your job and going the extra mile. We really want to reach out to families and patients to tell us some wonderful stories, tell us about the nurses who have done something extra and have had a special connection with a patient or a family.”

Nominating a nurse for the award is seen as a nice “thank you.” Wolf was herself a DAISY Award nominee. “It was wonderful just being nominated. It didn’t matter to me if I got it or not. It was nice to think that somebody appreciated what I did. I didn’t think what I did was any big deal, but to be recognized that way is wonderful,” she said.

“Nurses usually don’t think that what they do in the course of a day is a big deal. But that’s the kind of caliber of awardee you see. They’re very unassuming. They say, ‘I was really only doing my job,’” Wolf said.

Most of the DAISY nominations to date have come from co-workers and other medical center staff. DAISY Award nomination forms are at the medical center and available to patients and families, but not many have taken advantage of the opportunity to recognize a special nurse. One reason – people who are drawn to nursing typically shy away from self-promotion. They’re uncomfortable talking about the award.

“They think their job is just what they do, it is not to toot their own horn. They are a nurse because they love what they do and really enjoy helping people and their families,” said medical center administrative assistant Judy Hillman.

Custer agreed. “In the personal culture of nursing, we don’t look for rewards for what we do,” she said.

“I was very honored and humbled at the same time,” Custer said about receiving the award. “It meant a lot to me, coming from a co-worker, a fellow nurse. It was eye-opening to me that I had helped her that much and I didn’t know I had.”

“I was humbled because there are so many people that need to hear they’re doing a good job. There are so many people in the hospital that do great work, and when you get that nomination, you feel like you want to do even better. You want to do better work,” Custer said. “Everybody needs to feel that way, like they’re appreciated. It’s nice that we do it for nurses. It would be nice if we did something like this for home care aides, for housekeeping, for plant ops, anybody. Everybody does great work,” she said.

Nominations for the Nov. 19 DAISY Award are due by Nov. 12. Nomination forms are available at the medical center or on the medical center’s website,

The criteria state that DAISY nurses:

  • Are consummate team players and their colleagues feel working with them is a “gift”
  • Don’t “pass the buck,” and are decisive and involved, doing what is required and then some, often working outside their comfort zone when a situation necessitates
  • Know that “the little things” can make a big difference in their patients’ care and outcomes
  • Not only listen with their ears, but with their hearts, as well
  • Know that taking the time for compassionate communication can help a family make a good decision for their loved one.
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