Christy Fliss isn’t used to seeing much daylight as the charge nurse on the night shift at Sanford Health Sylvan Court in Canby, Minnesota where she’s worked for nearly nine years. Her colleagues know and love her for her attention to detail and stabilizing presence in the ICU, so they decided to surprise her with the DAISY Award to show her how much they appreciate having her around.
“As an administrator, we can get calls any time of the day, any time of the night,” said fellow night shift nurse Jason Anderson. “When I know Christy’s on, I just have a sense of calmness. I know everything’s going to be OK. I know everything is going to be taken care of. She just is thorough in her job.”
Fliss, a single mom of three, said being there for her patients at night is a special type of reward all its own. “It’s fulfilling being that person to light them up. Make them feel good,” said Fliss.
She never expected to receive a reward for doing her job but she was glad to accept the honor nevertheless. “It was awesome. It made me feel great. I’m just so glad that they all think that way of me. Makes me feel good,” Fliss said. “I never want to be that nurse that somebody’s scared of or doesn’t feel comfortable coming and asking questions to.”
She said she enjoys being one of the only people on staff because it gives her more time to spend with her patients.
Anderson said he’d love to have more than one Fliss on the floor if he could. “I’d love to duplicate, replicate her and the families, the residents, the staff, they appreciate Christy so much.”
The staff said Fliss makes a difference by treating the patients like family.
“It’s rewarding knowing that you’re that comfort to the residents when they need it the most,” Fliss said. “The other night I was in the room with a 103-year-old and something silly had happened and she laughed so hard. I have never heard her laugh like that. It was the greatest thing. It was just like hearing your kids. That genuine laugh. Just moments like that, the residents make it the best job.”
She has since become a role model for other nurses on the job, especially newcomers just starting out in their careers.
“I always want to be what I want my kids to be. I want them to look up to me and be like, ‘Oh, Mom was always really good at that, and she always tried her best.’ I always tell them before anything, be kind,” Fliss said.