By Beverly Perkings
Plantation resident Sharon Balasco, a nurse at Florida Medical Center, was honored with the “DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses”. Not only was she chosen for her exceptional care and compassion, she was also chosen for being a team player and collaborating with fellow nurses to deliver the best care for her patients.
The “DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses” is a special program that recognizes the outstanding deeds nurses perform every day. It was created by the DAISY Foundation, which was founded in memory of J. Patrick Barnes by his parents after they experienced firsthand the compassion and care of their son’s nurses.
Each year The National Daisy Foundation honors those with extraordinary dedication and compassion to their patients and their families. However, Florida Medical Center chooses a nurse every other month. The honorees are selected from nominations that are submitted by patients and their families, co-workers, community members and healthcare representatives. Balasco was nominated by a family member of a patient that recently passed away for going above and beyond the call of duty.
The entire Florida Medical Center administration surprises the honoree with the award when they least suspect it, and then a small celebration party is given in the department. In this case, the family member that nominated Balasco even came to the hospital for the ceremony.
“I was honored and humbled to have won such a beautiful award especially since the nomination came from a family. I have always wanted to be a nurse because I love taking care of people, and especially since my parents passed I have given more love and compassion to my patients as if they were my own family,” said Balasco. “I always try and make my patients and their families feel special, and I feel compassion and love go a long way. It makes me feel good when I make them feel good.”
Balasco has been a nurse for 30 years now, and she could not imagine doing anything else. Her current role is a charge nurse in the Neuro ICU. She has had patients as young as 18-years-old and as old as 102-years-old. Her greatest gratification is when she can make her patients feel better and put smiles on their faces.
“Many patients in the ICU may not have any family, so holding a hand or giving a hug goes a long way,” added Balasco. “To be a nurse, you need to feel it in your heart, it’s about making a difference in someone life to help them get healthy or die with dignity, peacefully, with you by their side holding their hand.”