Mario Hernandez wins DAISY Award for outstanding care

When a local family arrived at Driscoll’s emergency room with their 16-year-old child, clinical staff knew immediately something was wrong.

“Right from the start, you could already tell this kiddo’s shoulder was completely dislocated,” said Mario Hernandez, the inpatient ER nurse who cared for the patient. “Without even the x-rays, you already knew something was going on, something didn’t look right for sure.”

The high school student had dislocated his shoulder at work three hours earlier. He arrived at Driscoll with his parents, draping his limp arm over mom for support. All three were nervous about what the injury would mean.

“My son was in a great deal of pain,” the mother said. “After visiting the local urgent care in our neighborhood, they told us his shoulder was too badly dislocated to put it back without giving him anesthetic. They referred us to Driscoll, and we are so thankful to God that they did.”

Hernandez quickly sprang into action with his first patient of the day. X-rays were snapped and then the teenager was informed of the treatment plan. He would be moderately sedated. His shoulder would be popped back into its socket.

Understandably, the idea of forcing anything back into place worried the teenage patient, but Hernandez assured him that the drugs would make him feel no pain.

They would also make him a bit “loopy,” Herandez joked with the family. When Herandez compared the medication to a truth serum that would have the high school student reveal embarrassing secrets, it was all smiles in the emergency room.

Herandez’ care made an impression on the family, enough to nominate him for a Daisy Award, a national recognition given to nurses that go above and beyond. The family’s appreciation didn’t stop there.

“Mario made him feel so comfortable and even walked us out,” the mom said of Hernandez. “After getting home and things settled down, we looked him up on Facebook.  We didn't want to be the ‘weirdos that looked him up,’ but wanted to sincerely thank him for all he did.”

The message mom penned to Hernandez was cautious and heartfelt.

“I promise I’m not a Facebook stalker!” she wrote. “I just wanted to tell you how incredibly grateful my husband and I were for you taking such amazing care [of our son]. He is still talking about how awesome you were!”

Nowadays, mom says every time she drives past Driscoll Children’s Hospital with her son, he lets out a big “HEY MARIO!”

This is the second Daisy Award Hernandez has received at Driscoll since starting work here less than a year ago. Hernandez said the award means a lot to him, especially because he knows it can be rare for an ER nurse to bond with a patient.

“Since we don’t see our patients that long, I guess we don’t make that much of a connection with them,” Hernandez said explaining why the awards meant so much to him.

“It’s actually pretty awesome,” Hernandez said.

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