Local nurse takes pride in making a difference

JOPLIN, Mo. — April Willis was recognized for her genuine kindness when she received a special award. This local nurse takes pride in making a difference, inside and outside of the hospital.

“I’ve always been that nurse that wants to make sure that I make a difference in the lives of the people I take care of. I want to feel like a friend to those people. I don’t want to just look like I’m swiping in for a paycheck,” said April Willis, RN, Labor & Delivery, Freeman Health System.

April Willis is a labor and delivery nurse at “Freeman Health System.”

It was just another night in the fall of 2022 for April, selflessly taking care of moms and babies.

But one patient really took April’s kindness to heart.

That’s when the patient nominated her for a DAISY award.

“This just happened to be a night I remember. This patient, she was super kind. She came in and she was very, very sick. She was very scared and I just, I’m so honored that she understood that I was trying to make things that were a very scary situation, very comfortable for her and her family. And it means so much to me that a patient can actually recognize that when they were so sick and having so many health problems at the time,” said Willis.

Dozens for nurses get nominated each month for the daisy award as a way to recognize their genuine compassion and professionalism.

“Kindness goes a long way. And I think with this week, the tragedies that we’ve seen in the NFL, we’ve learned how people can come together and that love honestly does make the world a better place. And so, I think it does help. Just to make sure that you’re not just here, putting on a fake smile and a fake persona to be that nurse, but that you are genuinely like that in everyday life, too,” said Willis.

And for April, her patients’ hand-written letter was more than a nomination.

“I think stopping, taking a moment and writing something out to let others know that, ‘you guys are making a difference too’,” said Willis.

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