During National Nurses Week, Brigham and Women’s Hospital celebrates all 3,600 of our nurses, including the Essence of Nursing Award recipient and honorees.
Daria Mlynarski, BSN, RN, OCN
Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Braunwald Tower 4C
In her nearly 20 years as an oncology nurse, Daria Mlynarski, BSN, RN, OCN, has always focused on caring not only for her patients, but also their loved ones.
“Oncology is a patient/family-centered environment,” said Mlynarski. “Patients almost always are surrounded by their families, friends and loved ones. We often have family members at the bedside, day and night, many times sleeping over and spending what little time they have left with their loved ones in their final weeks and days of life.”
Mlynarski was nominated for the Essence of Nursing Award for supporting patients and families and identifying ways to improve their care and experience. She helped to create a discharge education program to ensure that bone marrow transplant patients’ families have the information they need to safely care for their loved one at home. Mlynarski also is routinely involved in caring for patients enrolled in clinical trials for new treatments, learning as much as she can about medication, side effects and other aspects to help family members know what to expect.
“Daria practices relationship-based care by really getting to know her patients and their families,” said Nursing Director Anna Pullo, MSN, RN. “She always finds a way to make a difference in their lives.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Mlynarski continues to make a difference by supporting patients who often face their hospitalization without loved ones by their side.
“We are now left to be not only nurses to our courageous patients, but also their support people, family and a shoulder to cry on as they face the hardest days of their treatment and recovery alone, scared and isolated,” said Mlynarski.
Nurses on 4C organize FaceTime chats, conference calls and even hold bone marrow transplant teaching sessions with patients’ families via video calls. They celebrate their patients’ discharges, remissions and chemotherapy completions. Mostly, they spend time sitting with patients, talking and listening as they need.
“When the pandemic started, we watched the world shut down, our kids stop going to school and our households get turned upside down. We saw the world brace and social distance while we ran into the storm,” said Mlynarski. “We were called to duty like many other times before, but these times have been different and most certainly will change our hearts forever. COVID-19 has solidified the definition of the nurse-patient relationship. 2020 is the year of the nurse, and it has truly been the most humbling year of my practice.”
Daria Mlynarski was nominated for the Essence of Nursing Award by her professional development manager, Cathleen Rowland, MSN, MPH, RN, OCN, BMTCN, with letters of support from nursing director Anna Pullo, MSN, RN, and colleague Alexandra Lynch, PA-C.