Jennifer's nomination letter:
We would like to nominate Jennifer Flowers for the Daisy Award. Jennifer was one of the nurses on the 4th floor in the pediatric unit that took care of one of our twin 6 month old sons who was diagnosed with RSV and was having trouble keeping his oxygen levels at an acceptable level. The level of care that was shown to our son and our family started a little over 6 months ago when my wife was admitted due to complications in the pregnancy. Throughout that time up through the time the boys spent in the NICU, we saw over and over the amazing level of care that brought us back to Mary Lanning with this situation.
We live about 50 minutes away from Hastings and the night that we started noticing our son Logan having increased trouble breathing, we took him to an urgent care clinic in Grand Island on the advice of our pediatrician's on call service. Once there, his oxygen level was too low for them to continue treating and they recommended getting him to an emergency room. We contacted our pediatrician's office and they made the recommendation of getting him to the closest emergency room as soon as possible. We took him to St. Francis in Grand Island where after spending a few hours in the emergency room was admitted to the hospital for overnight observation.
The next day, we had not been happy with the level of care he had received up to that point and requested a transfer to Mary Lanning so that he could be with our pediatrician, Dr. Johnson, and her colleagues, and we could get the level of care that we expected to receive for our son.
Once at Mary Lanning, the change in the level of care was immediately recognized and as a mother and father, we felt that we were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. After getting through the night, we met Logan's day shift nurse, Jennifer Flowers. Jennifer came in with an excited energy about her and a happy-go-lucky attitude that worked wonders for our mental state at that time. You could immediately tell that Jennifer loves her job and wanted nothing more than to make everything the best that it could be given the situation. After reviewing Logan and going over his status, she proceeded to let us know that she loves to spend time with kids, play with them, give them baths, and generally cuddle with them and that at any time that we felt that we needed help or needed a break because she knew how stressful this could be, she would be happy to step in and do whatever we needed.
We cannot comment enough on her positive attitude. Jennifer not only helped our son get better through her constant attention, but helped us heal mentally at the same time. Our son was hospitalized with Mary Lanning from a Monday evening to the following Saturday afternoon. Jennifer worked with him for three days and he came to recognize her as someone that he liked to see. He would smile and giggle when she started talking to him and playing with him which was a joy to watch after seeing him so sick only days before.
On the last day of Jennifer's shift before being off work for a few days, she came in and sat on the floor while Logan stood in his bouncer and they played for the next half hour together and he smiled and giggled nearly the entire time. We don't claim to know how nursing caseloads and shifts work, even though it seems like we should due to the amount of time we have spent in the hospital over the last 6 months, but it seemed to us that Jennifer had truly gone above and beyond her normal job duties to ensure that even though our son had to be in the hospital, she wanted him to be as happy as he could be given the circumstances.
At shift change on her last day with us, Jennifer came in to introduce us to the night shift nurses and run over his status with them. Jennifer took that time to say goodbye to us and to Logan. After saying goodbye, Jennifer had to turn around and leave the room. Before doing that, we could see in her face that she hated to leave Logan, even though she knew that he was in the wonderful care of her colleagues.
To whomever is reading this, please know that Jennifer's reaction on that evening is exactly the reason that we chose to have our son moved to Mary Lanning in the first place. The level of care and caring that the nursing staff demonstrates for their patients is second to none. We spent some time at Children's Hospital in Omaha with Logan a few months prior to this for an unrelated surgery and while they have an outstanding staff and they do amazing work, we would not trade any of the nurses at Mary Lanning for anyone at any other medical facility that we have met. Jennifer is a nurse that is certainly in the right field of work and she shared a little about her future plans with us, but we certainly hope that through her future endeavors include working with children and if that doesn't include staying within Mary Lanning, that she impart not only her knowledge, but her positive attitude on those around her. Many of the nurses, respiratory staff, x-ray staff, and lab staff that worked with Logan did a great job and their roles should be by no means diminished, but Jennifer Flowers stood apart as someone who made this experience a positive experience for our family and we hope that she knows how much that means to us. We are first time parents and were blessed with our twin boys, but it has been a struggle with all of the sicknesses going around this winter and our stress levels and concern for our sons' well-being seem to have been maxed out. Jennifer did an amazing job easing our fears, promoting Logan's progress in a positive manner, even when he wasn't responding very well to treatment, and advocating on behalf of Logan.
We don't know if Jennifer will win this award, but she is certainly deserving and in our minds, personifies Mary Lanning's commitment to patient care and creating exceptional patient experiences. We are proud to submit this on Jennifer's behalf and if we are guessing correctly, she will be embarrassed to know that she was even nominated. However, if she is not fortunate enough to win, please share this nomination with her so that she knows that she made a meaningful impact in our lives and we appreciate everything that she did for us along with her colleagues.
Thank you so much for everything you have all done for our family from the very beginning. Based on your commitment to excellence within Mary Lanning, we will continue to make the drive to your facility because of everyone like Jennifer that we have encountered. We hope never to need that level of care again for anyone in our family, but please be assured that if it becomes necessary, Mary Lanning will always be our first choice.