After Brandi Robertson, RN, had a traumatizing experience with inadequate nursing care surrounding the birth of her first child, she had an “aha” moment that changed the course of her life.
“I didn’t want anyone else to ever have to go through that,” she says. “That’s why I decided to become a nurse.”
Her determination to make sure patients have the best experience possible and feel calm and comfortable resulted in Brandi receiving the prestigious DAISY Award. Nominated by her Ranken Jordan co-workers, she is hospital’s third DAISY Award winner.
The DAISY Award is an international recognition program honoring extraordinary nurses for their skills and compassion. Nurses are nominated by patients, family members, or team members.
‘It was a huge honor to receive this award,” Brandi says. “I remember hearing about the DAISY Award in nursing school. I know it’s given to outstanding nurses who give 110% and are always there for patients. To me, that’s a normal part of all I do—I don’t see it as going above and beyond.”
Answering the Call
Brandi’s first role in health care was as a medical assistant where she worked in pediatric primary care office settings. At the same time, the busy young mother went back to school to become a registered nurse. She was drawn to working with children.
After she graduated, she was ready to apply her skills more broadly.
A close friend who worked at Ranken Jordan encouraged Brandi to apply there. “She repeatedly told me this is where I should be,” Brandi recalls.
Brandi listened. Once she walked in the Ranken Jordan doors for an in-person interview, she was sold.
“When I came to Ranken Jordan, it didn’t look or smell like a hospital and I saw that nurses weren’t sitting behind a desk,” she says. “The warm environment made me want to work there.”
Because she understood the special needs patients at Ranken Jordan had, she carefully considered the responsibilities that came with the position. Yet she was determined to commit to the patients.
“When I saw the kids, I had to make sure I was ready to be there consistently for them because they need that stability,” she says. “I quickly knew I wanted to stay at Ranken Jordan and care for the kids to the best of my ability.”
Building Trust, Holding Hands
Her passion for the kids and families at Ranken Jordan has never wavered.
In November 2019, she started as a floor nurse at Ranken Jordan. By March 2020, she became a transport nurse. Her role as transport nurse includes making appointments for patients, coordinating the necessary paperwork for their visits, and keeping them safe during their transport to area hospitals for tests, procedures or doctor appointments.
“I’m an advocate for patients and families and serve as a ‘nurse on the go,’” Brandi explains. “The transport nurses have to be prepared for anything since they are away from Ranken Jordan with patients.”
During that time away—which can take up to five hours—she enjoys spending time with the children to listen, offer insight, answer questions, and keep them comfortable.
“I love being a transport nurse because I get to have longer one-on-one time with the kids and families and get to know them on a deeper level,” she says. “I try to help them feel better about their situation and show them what they still can do.”
Brandi says the most important lesson she has learned as a nurse is to listen. “I want each patient to know they have someone who will listen to them. I strive to be someone patients and families can count on and who will hold their hand when they’re scared.”
Caring for Co-Workers
Brandi’s hours are sometimes long but she rarely complains even when she works from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. If she is in between transports, she helps her Ranken Jordan co-workers on the floors to answer call lights, bring supplies or do whatever else they need. She feels as compelled to care for her co-workers as she does her patients.
“I try to be helpful to make their lives and jobs easier,” Brandi says. “The transport team and my other co-workers at Ranken Jordan are amazing. Along with the kids, they make me want to come to work.”
Shining Light on Each Day
While some days are challenging, Brandi brings a positive attitude to work with her every day. “As a nurse, you can’t have a strict schedule—you learn to roll with each day and not let things bother you,” she says. “You can’t take things personally because this job isn’t about you, it’s about the kids. I have to come in for the kids so they can get better and go home.”
The DAISY Award winner walks the talk through her compassion and dedication to her patients. The children she cares for her inspire her and reaffirm her career choice.
“I love everything about being a nurse,” she says. “I love interacting with kids because they are stronger than any adult I have ever met. They go through so much and still wake up with a smile on their face. That helps me put things in perspective. I enjoy coming to work every day and the kids are happy to see me. When does that ever happen in most jobs?”