As a traveling nurse, Megan worked in a variety of hospitals from coast-to-coast and in some of the busiest emergency rooms in the country. She thrives in the fast-paced emergency environment but moving around the country quickly lost its luster.
Megan eventually made her way to the West Coast, landing a nursing position at El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital. Growing up in Florida and living for some time in North Carolina, being near the beach in a warm weather state factored into her decision to put down “seeds” in sunny California. Megan had worked with an emergency room nurse who worked at El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital while she on assignment at another hospital. This nurse encouraged her to come and work at the hospital when Megan started looking for a permanent position in the Bay area.
“It’s a great hospital and working here was attractive to me, because I knew it was a Magnet hospital, which means expectations are high and the caliber of nurses is high as well. It seemed like a perfect fit for me,” Megan said.
Not long after Megan was hired in May 2019, she was working her routine shift in the emergency room when an elderly woman came in with stroke-like symptoms. She was accompanied by a female family member and after the older woman was transferred out of the emergency room to a unit in the hospital, the family member was going home for the evening. She expressed concerns to Megan about going to the parking lot by herself. Megan assured the woman it was safe and told her there are security cameras, but the woman still seemed uneasy, so she offered to walk her to her car. That simple act of kindness, something that Megan said just came naturally and was the right thing to do, resulted in her nomination for the DAISY Award.
The daughter was overwhelmed by the kindness Megan showed to the patient. According to the nomination, “Megan cared for the patient and her family going above and beyond to support them.”
The DAISY Award is an international recognition program from the DAISY Foundation that honors and celebrates skillful, compassionate nurses for the care they provide every day. Unbeknown to Megan, she was nominated for the award and Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Reinking, and the emergency team planned a surprise gathering where they announced Megan was the hospital’s first recipient of this prestigious award. Megan was selected by a group of her peers and received a one-of-a-kind Healing Touch sculpture made in Zimbabwe from the DAISY Foundation and the founder of the Daisy Award, Bonnie Barnes, congratulated Megan via a special video that was shared with the team. Megan is now one of a very elite group of nurses recognized across over 4,000 facilities in 26 countries.
“When you work in healthcare, you are not just taking care of patients, you are taking care of their family members as well,” explains Megan. “I was shocked and am humbled to receive the DAISY Award because I am very familiar with this award and can count on one hand the number of nurses I know who have received it.”
Megan adds, “I never thought that I would be the one to be receiving this award. It's nice to know that simple acts of kindness are recognized by our patients and their families. Taking care of our patients, keeping them informed on their plan of care, and helping someone to their car at night because they didn't feel safe are the right things to do. I appreciate the family for taking the time to recognize me for what should be the norm and not the exception.”
Megan attributes her approach to nursing to her family. She says she was taught to treat people the way you want to be treated and from early on, her parents taught her to be respectful of others. She brings this attitude to work with her every day at El Camino Health and spreads kindness and compassion to patients and families throughout the hospital.