WARWICK, RI — Cassie White, a registered nurse on Women & Infants Hospital’s Mother Baby Unit, approaches her bedside manner as a partnership with her patients, and reminds people there is no right or wrong way to breastfeed, characteristics patients apparently value.
“Cassie was absolutely fantastic while we were on the recovery floor. I had severe issues with breastfeeding and she was a lifesaver during the entire situation … She is absolutely a one-of-a-kind nurse and I can’t think of anyone else who deserves this award more than she does. Her bedside manner was phenomenal and made me feel like I was her only patient. She was truly there for me at all times,” said one patient in nominating Cassie for the the DAISY Award, according to Women & Infants.
The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the above-and-beyond efforts performed by nurses every day, according to a statement from the hospital announcing Cassie’s presentation with the award this week.
Cassie, a nurse at Women & Infants since July 2013, has been a nurse for 10 years.
“I applied to Women & Infants in 2013 knowing that I always wanted to work here after graduation. I was fortunate enough to have had two rotations as a nursing student and when the opportunity arose, I acted quickly. This hospital is tough to get into because everyone loves what they do and staff doesn’t turn over that often,” Cassie said.
In explaining her bedside manner, Cassie said, “With every shift I work, my patients and I are going to make it through the shift together. I try making it seem that each patient is cared for like they are my only patient while still setting realistic expectations with them. I am “down to earth” and connect with them on a parent to parent level.”
Cassie said breastfeeding is one of the most challenging and essential parts of being a Mother Baby nurse.
“Breastfeeding issues affect mothers across the board and are what many mothers are most stressed about. There is also no one way to breastfeed. Mother Baby nurses must adapt to the specific needs of each patient based on so many different factors. I tell my patients there is no black and white in breastfeeding, it is one large grey area. I only advise to take tips and tricks from everyone including CNAs, RNs, and lactation consultants themselves. Here at Women & Infants, all floor staff help patients with breastfeeding,” Cassie said.
Another common challenge Cassie helps mothers with is adapting to being a parent in general.
“This is a happy and joyous time for many families, but does not come without a new-found appreciation of sleep deprivation and sense of insecurity of what they are doing at any moment. Now add breastfeeding. Some common challenges include but are not limited to positioning, acquiring deep latches, and overall stimulating a mother’s milk supply. We also have to know when and how to intervene on an individual basis for both mother and infant. Breastfeeding is tough, but we make sure to let mothers know we are here for them and give them the appropriate resources they need to successfully breastfeed,” Cassie said.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired the award as a means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
“The kind of work the nurses at Women & Infants Hospital are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award,” said Bonnie Barnes, president and co-founder of the DAISY foundation.