DAISY Award winner: If she couldn’t be an actress, she decided she’d be a nurse
As a teenager, Laura Winget really, really wanted to be a stage actress. But circumstances worked against her. She wound up with a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic literature and a certificate to teach English as a Second Language. She spent a few years teaching ESL in Brazil.
“I feel like the best things in my life happen because of circumstance,” she said. “I moved around a lot when I was young and ended up in Washington when I was about 8 or 9. I stayed in Washington until my daughter was born and then moved to Brazil for seven years. But when I thought about bringing my daughter back to this country, I knew I would need a different line of work to be able to support her.”
From EMT to RN
Laura decided to be an EMT, because the work seemed to offer a sense of freedom and adventurousness, plus she’d get to help people.
“I erroneously assumed it would be lucrative,” Laura said. “I probably should have researched it a bit more. After getting a job with a private ambulance company and discovering that you need to also work fires to make any money at it, and that getting into a paid fire department was more time-consuming and chancy than I thought we could afford, I decided to get my RN.”
DAISY Award: She made me feel safe and calmed my nerves
The change in circumstances paid off. Laura was recognized in May 2020 at MultiCare Covington Medical Center with the DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses. The award recognized Laura for her nursing skills, compassionate care, and for going above-and-beyond what was expected in her work with emergency department patients.
Another staff member at Covington nominated Laura for the DAISY award.
“I was blown away with Laura’s bedside manners. She made me feel safe and comfortable throughout my entire six-hour visit,” the nominator wrote. “She came in and talked to me because I was at the ED by myself. She calmed my nerves and talked me through everything the doctor ordered. Laura was so sweet to me and whenever I asked questions regarding my diagnosis, she would pull up a chair and ease my anxiety. She is such a sweet and amazing nurse. Laura would be the reason I would come back to CMC Emergency Department.”
Becoming a nurse
While attending school, Laura worked as a tech in the Emergency Department at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital for three years. In 2015, she earned an associate degree in nursing at Bellevue Community College. Later that year, she passed the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s NCLEX exams, which test the competency of nursing school graduates.
Laura joined MultiCare Covington Medical Center’s Emergency Department in November 2016.
“The ED was never a question for me,” she said. “Although it was a toss-up between that and labor and delivery for a while, for the same reasons: you have a lot of autonomy and freedom, you get to problem solve a lot, and you work with a team that gets to pull people out of some scary situations and be there for them in some of the most intense moments of their lives.”
“We talked about loss and how it can make you feel a little crazy…”
Laura has learned a lot during her time at MultiCare and as a nurse. She shared one of her favorite cases.
She was taking care of an older woman who had fallen. The woman had broken a bone, but didn’t think to ask for pain meds. She was grateful for Tylenol when it was offered. Over the past two years, the woman had lost two of the most important people in her life, and talked to Laura about it.
“She wasn’t complaining or demanding. She was just living it,” Laura said. “We talked about loss and how hard that is and how it can make you feel a little crazy. And then she wanted to tell me a joke. My favorite is probably inappropriate for this story, but I laughed, and I loved that she was telling jokes, that she was coping.
“I learned from her,” Laura added. “I felt a connection to a woman with 30 years more living experience compared to me. And I felt like she got something out of connecting to me, too, and sharing what she was going through. It was a really special experience and I hope she healed quickly and well.”
Grateful for the people who surround me
You never know what life will toss your way, but Laura noted she’s grateful for the many people who surround her.
“I want to share that gratitude, with the people I work with at Covington ED for supporting me, caring about me and seeing me,” she said. “But especially with my daughter, Amber. If it weren’t for her, I most likely would not be having this amazing and beautiful experience.”
The DAISY Award is presented at MultiCare hospitals in the South Sound and Inland Northwest regions, and honors licensed nursing professionals in more than 2,000 health care facilities worldwide for outstanding patient care, clinical skills and extraordinary compassion in nursing.
About The Author
Melissa Campbell is the communication specialist for MultiCare Auburn and Covington medical centers. You may reach her at [email protected].More stories by this author