Tears of Joy, Accolades for Latest DAISY Winner

It was with tears and joy that Miranda Cariaga, R.N., accepted the DAISY award in front of her colleagues at a Shared Governance meeting at the Green Valley Administration Center April 26.

She was nominated by Magnet Program Director Barbara Rickabaugh, R.N., for her outstanding work with a very ill and frightened patient on Unit 1600 at NorthBay Medical Center.

Barbara was rounding on Unit 1600 when she walked into a patient’s room and asked how his experience had been so far.

He immediately responded with praise for his Emergency Department experience, but then quickly pointed out that he believed his nurse, Miranda, had saved his life.

He was suffering septic shock when he arrived, and although his family was there to comfort him, he really thought he might die. Miranda stayed with him for hours while he received fluids and antibiotics.

“He could not say enough about how absolutely wonderful Miranda was, saying he would never forget her,” wrote Barbara.

Miranda, who has been with NorthBay Healthcare for less than two years, was shocked and stunned to receive the award.

“I remember that patient very well,” she said after the presentation. “I can remember him like it was yesterday. If it weren’t for the great teamwork at NorthBay, I wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with him. But because I could see he needed it, I asked my team and they helped out.”

Miranda recalled the family was worried and her nursing know-how helped comfort them and give them faith that the patient would get better.

“They could tell I cared,” she said simply.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.  

Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Traci Duncan explained to the audience that Miranda’s award is part of an international program that celebrates extraordinary nursing skills and compassionate care. It was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died of complications of an auto-immune disease at age 33. His family was so awestruck by the care and compassion he received from the nurses, they created the foundation and award program in his honor.

NorthBay joined the DAISY Foundation in December 2015 and presented its first DAISY award the following April.

Several times a year, a nurse or nurses are selected by NorthBay’s DAISY Selection Committee to receive the award, according to Sandy Piedra, R.N., director of Emergency Services and Joan Forbush, R.N., director of Clinical Support Services and Acute Care, NorthBay’s DAISY program co-coordinators.

“We all think that we are just doing our jobs, but we’re not,” said Sandy. “We’re making a difference in the lives of our patients.”

Miranda received a certificate commending her for being an “Extraordinary Nurse” as well as a sculpture called, “A Healer’s Touch,” hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa. In addition, she and her coworkers were treated to cinnamon rolls and a DAISY award banner will be on display in Unit 1600.

More information is available at http:/DAISYfoundation.org. Forms to nominate a NorthBay nurse can be found online at NorthBay.org/DAISY.