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Shannon White of Franklin received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. (Courtesy Photo)

CONCORD — Intensive Care Unit nurse Shannon White of Franklin is the first Concord Hospital recipient of the DAISY Award, recognizing excellence in nursing.

The award is presented to nurses around the world who are nominated by patients, patient’s families or hospital colleagues.

“I was in shock,” said White, who had nominated other ICU nurses for the award. “I was so shocked that I have been able to touch people as much as they have. I felt honored to be on the same playing field as them.”

White has been a nurse for five years, and at Concord Hospital’s ICU for nearly two.

She received a certificate, a pin and a statuette representing the bond between nurses and patients.

ICU Manager Margie Ackerson nominated White for the award. “Shannon has only been in the ICU for two years, but she has quickly become a fan favorite,” said Ackerson. “She has gained this admiration and respect, not because she is the most experienced nurse in the ICU, but rather by the way she treats her peers, the multidisciplinary team and, most importantly, how she cares for her patients and their loved ones.”

DAISY, which stands for “diseases attacking the immune system," was established in 1999 by Mark and Bonnie Barnes after their son, Patrick, died in Seattle from complications from an autoimmune disease. The couple was touched by the care and compassion of Patrick’s nurses and decided to honor his memory by creating a foundation to recognize the “super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.”

White said nurses routinely fill many roles, from giving medication to offering a shoulder to cry on.

“Every nurse deserves the DAISY award because we’ve all gone above and beyond at one point or another,” she said.

Recently, White was caring for a confused, delirious patient who constantly tried to get out of bed. Communicating was difficult, but White realized the patient wanted to get up to smoke a cigarette. She created a faux box of cigarettes using a tissue box and straws, calming the patient enough that he stayed in bed for her entire 12-hour shift.

Ackerson said the cigarette example is one of many ways White wins the trust of patients and families in stressful ICU conditions.

“When she holds her patient’s hand and looks them in the eyes while saying ‘We’ve got this,’ they believe her. You can literally feel the anxiety and worry leave the room when Shannon is the nurse,” she said.

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