On Thursday, Mercy Hospital Ardmore honored Danette Butler as its first-ever recipient of a Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Butler is a registered nurse in the surgery holding area. She was chosen from a field of 40 other nurses to receive the honor, and it will now be an ongoing award presented at the hospital.
The program first started in 1999 as a way to recognize nurses for the work they do helping both patients and their families in their time of need. Today, over 3,400 healthcare facilities in all 50 states and 21 countries participate.
Anyone in the facility can nominate a nurse for a Daisy Award — patients, family members, other nurses, doctors, other clinicians or staff members. In the case of Butler, she was nominated by a patient’s daughter.
“I was taking care of her mother on three different occasions for three different surgeries that she had,” Butler said. “She was very, very nervous during the pre-op for the surgeries that she was going to have, so I comforted her the best I could. We started getting to know each other, and I got her to smile and laugh. Basically I did everything I could to create a better atmosphere.”
Butler said the challenge of cheering up nervous patients is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“When patients come in who are very scared and won’t talk to you or come out of their shell, that’s very challenging,” Butler said. “So I tell myself we’re going to laugh a little bit before we get out of this room. I always want to make it a little easier on the person, and I love that challenge every day.”
Butler said that this summer she will have been a nurse for 20 years. Sixteen of those years were spent as a military flight nurse. Her total military service spanned 31 years.
“I just love being able to make a difference in somebody’s life. I like taking care of patients,” Butler said. “I love what I do.”