A graduate of the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan’s School of Nursing has been nominated for the prestigious DAISY Awards in the United States.
Michael Ray Ungab, 37, is a staff nurse now working at the Behavioral Floor of the UnityPoint Health Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois in the United States.
“I received the nomination on February 12 and was surprised and grateful at the same time since it is a prestigious award that’s difficult to attain even as a nominee,” he told the Metro Cagayan de Oro Times in an exclusive interview from Peoria.
Mike said he finds working as a nurse in the US rewarding since nurses here are recognized and respected as frontliners.
“Doctors in the US rely and respect nurses assessments since we are in constant contact and communication with our patients and can provide them important information which are crucial to their diagnosis and recommendations for treatment,” he stressed.
The DAISY Award is a program that rewards excellence in nursing. An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, The DAISY Foundation was formed in November, 1999, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family.
Thus, the awards were created by the DAISY Foundation to recognize the clinical skills, extraordinary compassion and care exhibited by nurses every day. The award is given monthly to outstanding nurses in more than 1,500 hospitals in 9 countries.
DAISY Award recipients are recognized at a public ceremony and receive a framed certificate, DAISY Award signature lapel pin, and “A Healer’s Touch”, a hand-carved stone sculpture
Additionally, the unit or department of the recipient will receive cinnamon rolls-a favorite of Patrick’s during his illness-with the sentiment that the heavenly aroma will remind them how special they are and how important their work is.
DAISY Award recipients demonstrate our values: Foster Unity, Own the Moment, Champion Excellence, and Seize Opportunities. These individuals consistently demonstrate excellence through clinical expertise, extraordinary service, and compassionate care, and are recognized as outstanding role models in the nursing community.
Patients, family members, visitors, employees, volunteers, and physicians can nominate a deserving nurse through an online nomination form or by submitting a hard copy of a nomination form to the nominee’s nursing manager.
Mike is a Registered Nurse and Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate who hails from Poblacion, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. He is the youngest of the six children of the late Raymundo Ungab, Sr., former principal of the Tagoloan National High School, and Nympha Rances, a retired public school teacher and now a full-time homemaker.
His siblings who are all professionals like himself are Alexie Jose, Ma. Theresa, both public high school teachers; Mary Anne, a nurse with the Misamis Oriental Provincial Health Office; Mary Jane, also a public high school teacher; and Raymundo Jr., a seaman.
Mike started his pre-school with St. Mary’s Tagoloan, and graduated with 3rd Honors at the Tagoloan Central School, and class valedictorian at the Tagoloan National High School.
He dreamed of someday becoming a lawyer but when he was a 3rd year AB Philosophy at Xavier Ateneo studying for his pre-law, he realized he wanted to become a nurse instead and had to start anew as a nursing freshman.
After he finished his nursing course in March 2008, he took and passed the National Licensure Exam for Nurses in November 2008, and the NCLEX for nurses wishing to practice in the US in 2010.
However, he did not first go into clinical practice since he was immediately hired as a lecturer in an NLE Review Center, and later an NCLEX review center.
He finally started his clinical practice as a staff nurse with the Cagayan de Oro Medical Center in January 2015 but left for Saipan a year later where he worked as a home health case manager.
In April 2017 he moved to Texas where he worked as a home health field nurse/facilitator/supervisor while his employer worked out his EB2 Green Card petition. When that didn’t work out, he returned home in May 2018 where he worked with another petitioner to complete his working visa.
Finally, his green card was approved in June 2019, and he returned to the US in his present assignment with whom he has a 3-year contract as a staff nurse.
To appreciate his DAISY Award nomination better, readers have to realize Mike is assigned to the Behavioral Floor where they cater to patients with schizophrenia, schizoid personality disorder, drug-related mental disorders, anxiety disorders and depression.
In his previous stint in Saipan, Mike was exposed to psych nursing and had 8 months of seminars, trainings and conferences which most probably led to his present assignment at UnityPoint. Here, they are constantly being exposed to update classes and he plans to take a certification as a nationally certified Psych Nurse which would allow him to practice anywhere as such in the future.
As succinctly described by the DAISY Foundation in one of their social media postings, “Since 1999, we at DAISY have been honoring nurses who provide above-and-beyond compassionate care to patients and families. Expressions of gratitude from patients and families go a long way in helping nurses cope with their high-stress work and help keep burnout at bay. Given the shortage of nurses in the United States, it is important that we retain as many nurses as possible, and meaningful statements of gratitude like yours make a difference!”
“In your nomination form, please write as much detail as you can about what your nurse did that made a difference in your experience. Explain how your nurse’s care made you feel. This will be especially meaningful to your nurse who will receive a copy of your nomination. DAISY also has a Team Award that honors nurse-led teams.”
Good luck with the nomination Mike! We are all proud of you! Keep up the good work and may God bless you always in your life’s work!