Design Your Perfect Day

“Every day in the ICU is magical; am I right?”

Emcee Jon Holmer opened Tuesday’s SuperSession with a fluid dance from perfect patient to perfect procedure and back to perfect family members who help to make your day a little more perfect.


“OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit,” he said. “But it’s fun to dream! Just keep wishing upon that star, fellow nurses. Get to work innovating, and those dreams may become reality for your critical care unit.”

This is exactly how our Circle of Excellence award recipients — who were honored at yesterday’s SuperSession — choose to make a difference for their patients’ well-being. The awards recognize excellent outcomes in high-acuity and critical care nursing.

Awardees shared how they use their voice to enact change within their units.

One recipient was Amanda Gress of Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. “I use my voice to ignite courage in nurses around me,” she said, “and to provide care and support not only for their patients, but also for each other. Strong, resilient nurses will allow the nursing profession to continue to be a force for our future.”

Following the award presentation was a keynote by Dan Heath — co-author of the book “The Power of Moments” with his brother Chip — who said he experienced true perfection when he stayed at The Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles. The Castle is rated #2 on TripAdvisor’s list of best hotels in the city, beating both The Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons. But you wouldn’t know why from looking at it. Complete with its lackluster interior, dingy bathroom and 3-foot-wide balcony overlooking the hedges and an FBI van in a shady alleyway, it is far from your image of perfection, Heath said.

However, he said, perfection comes in its devotion to the power of moments. Call the Popsicle Hotline at the Castle, and a suited man wearing white gloves hands out popsicles to children poolside on a silver tray. Free and tasty snacks are always offered free of cost at the front desk. You can check out a board game or a movie from their menu for a night of family fun. Or drop off your laundry in the morning; they will wash and fold it for you — free of charge!

Heath spent the remainder of his time on stage telling tales of great experiences created by peak moments and challenging attendees’ perceptions of perfection. Experiences that can take anyone from “whelmed” to overwhelmed.

As nurses, we have the power to create perfection for our patients, he said.

“The moments that patients will remember don’t hinge on production value,” Heath reminded us. “They don’t have to be dramatic moments. They don’t have to be expensive moments. They hinge on thoughtfulness.”

Have a perfect day!