GREENVILLE – “Irene was one of my mom’s post-op nurses and the care and compassion she gave her was exceptional,” wrote the nominator of Wayne HealthCare’s newest Daisy Award winner, Irene Wirrig. Not only did Wirrig care for the nominator’s mother, she also cared for the nominator’s step-father four days later when he had a medical emergency.
The nominator shared that Wirrig treated her step-father like as if he were part of her family. “My mom was unable to be there and she was so grateful when she knew Irene was taking care of him.” The nominator concluded, “Irene went out of her way to make two senior citizens comfortable and that they were truly cared for.”
The Daisy Award is made in partnership with the national DAISY Foundation, American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and Wayne HealthCare. According to WHC’s Kim Freeman, vice president of patient care services, the award is given to outstanding nurses in more than 2,000 health-care facilities in all 50 states and 15 countries. The number of awards presented is based on the size of the hospital. WHC has been allotted two awards each year.
Wirrig is fairly new to nursing having only been in the field for the past nine years. “I got a late start,” she said. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and had worked as a homemaker and in social work. “It was after my dad’s illness that I decided to go to nursing school,” said Wirrig. After completing her education she worked for three months at the Brethren Retirement Community, but really wanted to do hospital nursing. She loves what she does and she loves her patients, “It’s nice to get to help them (patients) out like the nurses did for my dad.”
As a DAISY Award recipient, Brown received a certificate, DAISY Award pin, and a hand-carved stone sculpture entitled A Healer’s Touch.
The name of the DAISY Award winner is kept secret until the day of the presentation. The selection committee is given copies of nomination forms with the names redacted and they only vote on the information provided by the nominators. The award winner must meet the following criteria: (DAISY) Dedicated to patient care and satisfaction; Attitude remains positive and demonstrates professionalism in the workplace; Interested in the needs of the patient and family; Stands for and demonstrates the caring ideals, mission and values of WHC; and Yearly evaluation is in good standing.
The DAISY Award is given in remembrance of Patrick Barnes who passed away in 1999 from an auto-immune disease. His family wanted him to be remembered and they chose to honor the nurses that took care of their loved one. Because cinnamon rolls were Barnes’ favorite during his illness, each award must be celebrated with cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon rolls are shared with everyone because nursing requires a team.
If you would like to nominate an extraordinary nurse at WHC, ask for a nomination form the next time you’re at the hospital or contact Freeman at (937) 547-5719.