NORTH ADAMS — Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) Renal Dialysis nurse Michael Tessier, RN has received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a national nursing recognition program that has been adopted by thousands of hospitals to honor individual nurses who have had a tremendous impact on patient care. Tessier, who serves in the Renal Dialysis Center at the North Adams campus of BMC, was honored for his compassion and above and beyond care he provided for a renal patient who was facing end of life.
According to one of the nominations submitted for Tessier, “recently a patient who receives dialysis in North Adams was admitted to the main hospital. After full diagnosis, it was realized that he had reached a time to make end-of-life decisions. Dr. David Albert helped the patient to make a decision to stop dialysis and go home with hospice support. When Mike Tessier, nurse, heard this news, he was deeply saddened and took it upon himself to visit the patient, on his day off, prior to the patient’s discharge from BMC.”
The nomination went on, “the patient relayed that Mike sat with him while preparing for his discharge and let him talk about his decision and how he felt. Mike supported him in his bravery and even offered to take him fishing the following day if he felt up to it as they had talked about sharing this activity at some point but had never made a firm plan. Mike walked with the patient to the main entrance and assisted him into his family member’s car. Mike was deeply impacted by this interaction and later received a message from the patient’s sister informing him of her brother’s passing and thanking him for taking the time to visit and expressing how much it had meant to her brother and to all of her family.”
A second nomination lauded Tessier for his caring by saying, “it is hard to describe just one way that Mike displays his caring and compassion.”
The DAISY Foundation was started in memory of Patrick Barnes, who passed away in 1999 from complications of the autoimmune disease ITP. His family wanted to turn their grief into something positive and create something that would capture his spirit. The DAISY acronym stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. As they brainstormed on what the foundation would do, they kept coming back to conversations about how wonderful his nurses were. Their mission became to express gratitude to nurses with programs that recognize them for their extraordinary skillful, compassionate care provided to patients and families. The program is now in more than 4,500 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and around the world.