‘We’ve got this.’ MICU displays excellent teamwork in DAISY Team Award
“Overcoming challenges” is a common phrase among those who work in UI Health Care’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), but so is the word “resilient.”
Although the MICU team has always been known for caring for the most complex and challenging cases among patients, the last few years have exemplified their commitment to compassionate care and evidence-based practices.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and everyone was unsure about how to care for patients with COVID-19, the MICU nurses were the first ones on the line to care for these patients,” writes Sarah Hackbarth.
Hackbarth, MSN, RN, CCRN, interim nurse manager of the MICU, nominated her colleagues for the 2022 DAISY Team Award. For her, the team culture of excellence has remained steady since she first started as a new graduate nurse almost 8 years ago. In fact, she has a story that demonstrates just that.
“I left a couple of nurses in the patient’s room so I could grab supplies. I was only gone for thirty or so seconds, but the patient took a turn for the worse,” she says. “By the time I came back, there were 5 nurses in my room, all doing what was needed to stabilize this patient. They told me ‘We’ve got this, Sarah. You know the most about the patient, so you work with the providers to ensure that we have a clear plan moving forward.’ This is a completely normal occurrence on the MICU,” Hackbarth says.
With increased visibility on the unit over the past few years due to COVID-19, Hackbarth believes more people understand the value of teamwork and its overall impact in the MICU.
“At the end of the day, while many of our staff love the complex care we provide, it’s the team that seals the deal and helps us recruit and retain staff,” she says.
From developing a MICU wellness program to utilizing new technology such as the q2roller that is more ergonomically friendly for staff and decreases certain injuries for patients, the MICU continues to take care of itself to further support our patients.
“We see a lot of heartbreaking situations, but see a lot of heartwarming situations, too,” says Olivia Wulf, BSN, RN, CCRN, an interim assistant nurse manager in the MICU. “It is imperative our team celebrates success together, but also sit with one another during the hard times.”
The DAISY team award celebrates the work of every member of the team, from nurses and physicians to the social workers and dietary staff. Leaders of the unit say everyone contributes to the unit’s overall success. Over the past year, the unit has onboarded new team members and welcomed 31 nursing students—a third of which chose to come on full-time in MICU.
“It’s easy for leaders to say we value teamwork, but nothing is more demonstrative of the culture of effective teamwork than a third of our most recent nursing students choosing to work in MICU after graduation,” says Kevin Doerschug, MD, MS, the medical director of the MICU. “This award means a lot to our team. It shows that true success comes from a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.”
MICU stories from 2022
We’ve heard so many incredible stories from those who’ve worked in or with the MICU over the past year.