On Thursday, November 14, 2019, Jodi Piacenti was honored with Perry’s quarterly Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nursing. Jodi was surprised with the award in the Perry Memorial Hospital Park Avenue Café at a gathering among her co-workers, family and friends. The Daisy Award is awarded quarterly to a Perry nurse in deep appreciation and admiration of compassionate care.
Jodi said, “Growing up I had a role model in my mother, Terre Merkley. Living with a nurse you learn about a nurse’s day at the dinner table. I knew I wanted to help people heal.” Her mother influenced Jodi to become a CNA during high school with the goal to one day provide patient care. Jodi said, “Mom said it can be a love/hate relationship and she wanted me to make an informed decision. I loved it.”
She obtained an RN degree from Illinois Valley Community College right out of high school. As Jodi went through nursing school, she became intrigued with patient care from the start to finish of their treatment.
Jodi began her career in the early 90’s as a pediatric nurse. In 1998 she switched to Ambulatory Care and has provided skilled nursing care to thousands of patients. Jodi has always had a goal of advancing her nursing skills, so in 2017, she became a certified PICC line nurse. The PICC line makes treatment faster and less painful for patients who have to receive IV treatments on a regular basis, so they don’t have to be “stuck” over and over.
Jodi recalled one of her most memorable shifts, early in her career, when she was working alongside Sharon Phillips for the first time. “I have to admit I was hesitant working with her. She had a commanding motherly presence and her expectations were high.” Eighteen patients were on the floor, which makes for a stressful night. Sharon said, “you take six and I will take the rest.” Together they worked the entire night in sync, caring for patients. Jodi said, “We rocked it. That night set the precedent for what type of nurse I wanted to be.”
Jodi was nominated for the Daisy Award by one of her patients. The nomination read, “Jodi has been doing my infusion for approximately 3-4 years. She is so caring. She makes sure that I am comfortable and have everything I need. She is truly a nurse for the right reason.”
Jodi shared, “I truly love being a nurse, to take a patient through their journey and helping them heal is the best feeling. Just knowing I make a difference makes my day.”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Perry to receive The Daisy Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients and guests.