Kayla Finzen, a licensed practical nurse at Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, received a welcome surprise at work the other week.
Linda Fansin, one of her former patients, was on hand to present her with the DAISY Award, a special honor reserved for nurses who go above and beyond the demands of the job for their patients. Linda came to the facility for a leg wound and credits Finzen with nursing her back to health.
“It took me about a week to realize what a top-notch nurse I had in the rehab facility when I was here,” Linda said during the impromptu ceremony. “She is very adept at putting her patients at ease, thus taking away the anxiety patients face and finding comfort when needed the most. I can’t thank Kayla or the staff enough for the treatment I received when here.”
Finzen has emerged as a clinical care leader in the rehabilitation department of the facility where she is known for her patience and compassion.
“It was a huge surprise, complete surprise,” said Finzen, 29. “I had no idea anything was coming. When I heard Linda Fansin behind me, then I knew. My heart dropped and she started crying and I started crying. It was good.”
She started working at the nursing home as a traveling nurse three years ago but decided to stay after falling in love with the residents.
“In rehab we’ll take somebody in and I tell them, I’m happy you’re here. I will keep you as long as I can but I will celebrate and kick you out the door once you’ve graduated,” Finzen jokes.
Harlan Temple, a long-term Good Samaritan resident, said Finzen lights up the room. “Kayla is just an awesome person,” Temple said. “She’s caring and she’s very helpful. She makes you feel good. I just have a lot of admiration for her.”
Her colleague Brittnay Brees said Finzen is an incredible “team player” with a big heart.
“This little team that we have right here is definitely pretty close,” Brees adds. “We work really well together and all have kind of the same goal of making sure we’re providing for our residents and making sure we have what we need.”
Finzen said the facility is more than just a home, it is “a village.” “We are the village, and it takes a village,” she added with a proud smile.
“We’re a family. I like to tell everybody, yes you have your family but also this is our work family. Being able to give and then they (residents) give back to me, it makes me whole. It makes me happy,” Finzen commented through the tears.