Going above & beyond, resident receives Hasbro award

Posted 8/2/23

Hasbro Children’s Hospital announced its 2022 Brite Lite award winners last month and among those named was Cranston Resident Hayley Zackarian, BSN, RN, for her outstanding work as a registered …

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Going above & beyond, resident receives Hasbro award


Hasbro Children’s Hospital announced its 2022 Brite Lite award winners last month and among those named was Cranston Resident Hayley Zackarian, BSN, RN, for her outstanding work as a registered nurse at the hospital.

All recipients of the award are employees of Lifespan, a not-for-profit health system based out of Providence, and are nominated by Hasbro patients and their families for their compassion and dedication to their work.

“Today is a proud day as it is an opportunity to honor our thoughtful and devoted Hasbro Children’s Hospital physicians and staff who go above and beyond when caring for children during their time here,” said Phyllis Dennery, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief and Medical Director, Hasbro Children’s Hospital at the awards ceremony. “We’re very fortunate to be a hospital that’s very connected to our community, allowing us to make a real difference in the lives of patients and families of all walks of life.”

Despite her continuing dedication to her work, Zackarian was, nonetheless, surprised at her own nomination for the award. After all, she sees the effort she puts into her patients as routine or “part of the job.”

“When I was first told that I had won the Brite Lite award I was caught off guard,” Zackarian laughed. “I honestly started to think ‘who could have nominated me?’. I was all over the place at that point. Then when I actually got the chance to read the nomination it all just made sense, honestly.”

Zackarian said that when she read the nomination she understood, and she could even remember the exact day and floor she was on the day the nomination referred to. Even through her surprise Zackarian was careful not to infringe on patient confidentiality as she discussed the day she made such an impact on a family and their lives.

“The nomination mentioned that I had spent some time in the patient’s room removing an IV,” she explained. “You know when I read more into it I could remember the exact scenario. It happened months ago but I still remember every part of that day. I know that the child I was taking care of was quite anxious and nervous to have the IV removed. In that moment I kind of just put it into perspective. I thought, if this was my child what kind of nurse would I want taking care of the person I love.”

She realized that what she wouldn’t want is the kind of nurse who would rush it or not take the time to put in the extra effort to make the patient feel more comfortable. Zackarian said that she really tried to put her own perspective into the experience while trying to understand exactly what that child was feeling.

“I spent a while in that room talking him through it,” she said of her memory of that day. “I just talked him through it. I tried to joke with him and find anything that I could to just take his mind off of the IV while I was trying to get it out. Some things were working and some things didn’t. I think at one point I wondered what would happen if I just told him hey this is how you do it. Then I offered him the chance to give it a try and offered him the autonomy of doing it himself.”

Her idea was to give this anxious young boy the idea that if it was something that she would allow him to do himself, then maybe it wasn’t something to be scared of. Zackarian hoped that the idea that the process was something so simple and mundane that being able to remove it himself might, not only alleviate the tension, but also empower this young child in dealing with his own health in the future.

“I know I would be a little bit less anxious if someone were to walk me through it,” she said of her reasoning. “So, I mean I really just try to put myself in their shoes. I just did was seemed necessary to not upset the child. I didn’t want to make it a scary experience.”

Time management, communication and the way you deliver care, those are the two factors Zackarian said are the most important aspects of her work that she believes led to her nomination for this award. After all, she explained all three of those aspects go hand-in-hand.

“The way you’re talking to your patients, the way you’re presenting, and the way you’re giving the time and effort all go together,” she continued. “If you’re not creating that healthy combination and balance, well I mean like you may not be able to deliver the best possible care. You want your patients to feel safe, and you want your patients to feel less anxious with any process that they’re going through while hospitalized. Amongst me taking the time to talk him through it, explain to him the process, joke with him to communicate and really break it down to his level I think it mixed together to give him that safe feeling.”

The Brite Lite employee recognition program began in 2002. It spotlights five employees who have surpassed their everyday duties to make patients and families with whom they come into contact feel safe, important, and well cared for. Brite Lites are selected for excelling in characterizing “the four Cs” at Hasbro Children’s Hospital: caring, communication, cooperation and competence. As such, Zackarian wasn’t the only one to receive the Brite Lite award this year.

The 2022 Brite Lites winners are:

  • Hayley Zackarian, BSN, RN, of Cranston, RI, registered nurse, 6th floor, Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Nathalie Paz, BSN, RN, of Providence, RI, registered nurse, 4th floor, Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Connor Wilson, MD, of Providence, RI, emergency medicine resident
  • Erica King, BSN, RN, of Pascoag, RI, registered nurse, pediatric intensive care unit, Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Abigail Cruz, BSN, RN, of Coventry, RI, registered nurse, pediatric intensive care unit, Hasbro Children’s Hospital
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