Jason Roberts, RN – PRI – Child Diagnostic Unit
Please join the Center for Nursing Excellence in congratulating Jason Roberts, RN for being selected as the DAISY Award recipient for the month of June!
Jason works on PRI – Child Diagnostic Unit and was nominated by a co-worker. The nomination below reflects how Jason impacted their life in a very special way.
“I would like to nominate Jason Roberts, LPN for the Daisy Award. I’ve worked alongside Jason for nearly 8 years now. During my time at PRI, on the children’s unit, I’ve seen lots of turnover with staff; however, he has continued to stay here throughout the years. There are simply not enough words that can be used to describe what he means to the unit and to our patients. There have been countless moments that he has displayed remarkable compassion, work ethic, and problem solving. For me a couple that come to mind more so than others primarily deals in 3 categories 1) patient care 2) nursing expertise and clinical judgment 3) work ethic and compassion.
Jason can often get children to talk about some of the hardest topics out there. He is one of the most approachable, calm, and relatable guys I have ever met, and I think he really showcases this in his patient interactions. I remember a particular incident where we had a child whose father had not been present in his life. There was a fellow child who was about to be discharged, playing catch with his father. Jason somehow saw a change in his body language and this prompted him to talk about his feelings about not having a father, something that he had not felt comfortable discussing prior to this. He was able to connect with this child on a level that no one had yet done. There was another incident where we had a child who had just found out he was being taken into DHS custody and would be sent to a long term facility directly from our unit. This child understandably became irate and highly aggressive, beginning to throw and hit staff members. Numerous people had tried to deescalate him. Jason walked in, and calmly just told the child “I don’t know at all how you feel, but I know it has to suck and I’m not going to try and say different”. He just sat with the child, allowing him to push and hit on him for a good bit of time until the child finally just broke down and started crying profusely. Jason knew the child wasn’t acting out due to hatred or disruption but because he was hurt. There was also a child who just recently right before discharge came directly to Jason, out of all the staff present, and talked to him about wanting to kill herself. She had drawn a picture and had a detailed plan, but felt comfortable speaking with him about her feelings. I think for me, one of the biggest moments that I really remember was when he personally helped me changed how I viewed a child. We had a child who was extremely aggressive, unapproachable, and quite oppositional (usually Jason’s favorite kid). This child would refuse most activities, always yelled curse words at you, and for the most part was constantly causing disruption on the unit. I remember after 3 or so days with this kid, absolutely dreading coming to work. Jason said “I’m gonna make him like me”. He walked in there, noticed the kid had a shark and started joking with him about the shark and shark week. It was very superficial at first, but the child bought into it. Soon the child was no longer refusing most activities and was actually quite a joy to be around. He wasn’t needing to be heavily medicated, he wasn’t needing to be escorted to his room, he was laughing. Jason often was at this child’s defense would staff members would make comments about how difficult he was (still to this day will argue for him). His grandma often spoke praise of the unit for the wonders we did for him. Honestly, I think it really started with him and just making it a point to try and make a bond with him. Grandmother ended up sending all 3 kids because she truly trusted us and admired the work. I think his level of patient care speaks volumes when kids immediately ask where he is if he isn’t here, and become sad or disheartened if they can’t play with him.
When I first started on the unit, I was a brand new, young RN. Sure I had completed my clinical time and nursing program, but I was by far knowledgeable. I remember my first day having an AMA patient, and not knowing what to do about it. I had not really had a preceptor due to the high volume of nursing turnover at that point, and was very limited on who to really ask. Jason came up to me and said “we will figure it out” and searched with me for about 30 minutes on getting the paperwork and writing a RN note regarding it, something that he didn’t have to do. Even though it wasn’t even in his scope of practice, he had a better idea of what to do and look for than I did as a RN. It wasn’t as if he was my preceptor, or really even knew me, he just knew I needed help and was willing to be there for me. I greatly admired his intuition regarding medications and diagnoses and one day hoped I would be as informative as he was. We had received a new patient one morning, and as soon as she walked in he said “it’s like her ammonia levels are high, look at her”. I simply nodded my head in agreement, but I honestly never would have came to that conclusion. Sure enough, her anti-convulsant medication was not within therapeutic range, and was greatly affecting her levels. He has shown me how to give an IM injection, do a flu/strep swab, complete an enema, insulin pen, g-button; he always seemed to know and more importantly was willing to help you learn. I often joked “I promise, I’ll stop asking questions” and he always reiterated that he never once minded if I asked him for help, ever. For me, his simple knowledge of medications was just astounding. He could name a medication based on the color, shape, and size and was most always right. He can tell you about the side effects and what they are used for, and is often an excellent resource for me when I try to figure out what medication a child needs now. He often jokes “when I tell you the red coats are coming”…. And he is typically right.
Work Ethic and Compassion
Since I have known Jason, he has never called in on a snow day and he isn’t late. He shows up daily to do his job, and is absolutely amazing at it. No matter what the weather is outside, he is here every time. I’ve seen him take a 1:1 patient, help a patient take a shower or feed them, and I’ve seen him take all 9 patients before as a group and not complain. Whatever his assignment is he gives it. He will often catch order errors such as when a stimulant falls off after 7 days, he will help remind you if you mentioned 2 days ago you were wanting to start a new medication and may have failed to do so, he will check for consents before giving a medication, and is often the guy people call on when it comes to questions. I look back at what the unit looked like 5-6 years ago vs today, and he has helped change this greatly. He was an advocate in helping to decreasing physical holds and seclusions, and even simply just how we handled situations. He has brought so much joy for these kids. I remember we often use to just sit around and watch tv or do group works to pass spare time. He helped bring items like baseball, volleyball, and basketball to our unit. He really has an ability to relate to kids, and does it well. For me though what really made me realize that he deserved this award far more than anyone else was in regards to an incident that happened in December of last year. We had a child who was highly aggressive to himself while on our unit. He had numerous holds and escorts, but was exceptionally aggressive and destructive. The child broke his arm while he was here and wrongfully blamed Jason for the matter after being prompted by his grandmother to do so. Jason had to endure months of being investigated by the State Police, having to be taken off the schedule due to it being further looked into, tapes were pulled from the incident, coworkers interviewed. Never once during this time frame did I ever hear Jason say a negative or ill-hearted word about this child. When Jason returned back to work, he never stopped caring about the children or doing his job. He showed no animosity or hatred for the unit, the situation, or even our institution for having to take all the measures it did in the investigation.
For me, watching how he handled that situation and never missing a beat in his nursing care or work ethic goes far beyond than just admirable. What he provides to our unit and UAMS cannot, and will not, ever be replaced. He makes you want to be a better nurse because of his drive and knowledge. He helps you to view situations in a different lens because of how he is able to approach manners so calmly. For me, I’ve learned that if Jason is speaking out against something then you should probably take the time to listen because very rarely does he do so, and he probably has an excellent point. I really hope you consider Jason Roberts for the Daisy Award. I cannot imagine someone who is more qualified for this award, or demonstrates a higher level of compassion or care than he does. His qualities are simply unmeasurable, and are a huge piece in what makes our unit the function the way that it does.
Great job, Jason!
To learn more about The DAISY Award or to nominate a deserving licensed nurse, please visit: http//nurses.uams.edu.