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ECHN’s Quarterly DAISY Award Recipient: Sonja Fisher


Meet Sonja Fisher, RN

Sonja works in the Emergency Department at ECHN, and was nominated to receive the Daisy Award by her manager.

“On Friday, December 4th, 2020 in the ED we held a young man in the Emergency Department for 67 hrs. The patient was a 17 year old male with diagnosis of schizophrenia. During this time, the patient was being medicated for increased agitation and outbursts. On the morning of December 4th, Sonja displayed compassionate exceptional care. She put him in a tee shirt that was clean and age appropriate. She spent several hours of the day reassuring him and his mother. As I was in charge, she said she wanted to only give him scheduled medications and not sedate him with the Ativan. She provided him with an adult size bed that was accommodating for his size and safer because it was lower to the floor. What really made me want to recognize this nurse was that I caught her sitting next to her patient and taking just a few minutes to talk with him about what his favorite foods are “pizza and mac and cheese.” She has shown throughout the day patient and family centered care that was compassionate and kind. On days when we are all busy with COVID patients, it was refreshing and encouraging to see such a caring professional. I would be honored to nominate this nurse for the Daisy Award for her kind and compassionate care.”

Congratulations Sonja!

D.A.I.S.Y is the acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was formed in November 1999, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family. The family felt they and Patrick experienced the best of Nursing. Not only did they witness expert clinical skill for a very complex medical situation, but it was the kindness and compassion that the staff showed to Patrick and his family every day. The following is a quote from the DAISY Foundation website:

“We were awed by the way the nurses touched him and spoke with him, even when he was on a ventilator and totally sedated. The way they informed and educated us eased our minds. They truly helped us through the darkest hours of our lives, with soft voices of hope and strong loving hugs that to this day, we still feel”.

After Patrick’s death, the family created the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses. Their goal was to “ensure that nurses know how deserving they are of our society’s profound respect for the education, training, brainpower, and skill they put into their work and especially for the caring with which they deliver their care”.

Nominations can be submitted by patients and families and those experiences submitted are reflective of an excellent patient and family experience. The foundation cites, “The nomination stories are rich in data that can describe what is important to patients, their families and others who encounter great, compassionate nursing care. By honoring extraordinary acts of compassion, recognition can positively influence the patient’s perception of their experience”.

The quarterly Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) DAISY award program is for Manchester Memorial Hospital, Rockville General Hospital, Visiting Nurse & Health Services of CT and Woodlake at Tolland staff registered nurses. We are fortunate to have nurses such as Sonja Fisher.