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Mary Bridge nurse receives DAISY Award

For nurse and DAISY Award winner Precious Estira, nursing isn’t just a profession.

By Cheryl Reid-Simons

For Mary Bridge Children's Hospital nurse and DAISY Award winner Precious Estira, nursing isn’t just a profession.

“It’s a calling,” she says. “Nursing is my passion.”

Her love of nursing shows every day.

“Precious is someone who exemplifies MultiCare values,” says Jodi Gragg, director of inpatient nursing services at Mary Bridge. “She is a nurse’s nurse, that goes above and beyond for her patients, families and colleagues. There has not been a day that she does not come to work with a smile on her face.”

Estira, 41, first heard a calling to nursing back in grade school in the Philippines.

“I’ve always said I’m going to be a nurse,” she recalls. “I didn’t take any other courses. I just went straight to nursing school.”

After graduation, she moved to Georgia to be near her family and start her nursing career. But the man she would marry had moved to the Pacific Northwest and loved it, so after five years in Georgia, Estira came to Washington and started working for MultiCare in 2005.

Although she has always loved kids, “I didn’t have any pediatric experience,” she says. “But I went to a wonderful pediatric residency program they have here (at Mary Bridge).”

After nine months doing just IV therapy, she knew she wanted more, so she joined the medical/surgical unit. And although many of the children she helps treat face tough diagnoses, she still finds her work uplifting.

“It’s the joy of seeing the kids, the joy of seeing them take charge of their recovery,” she says. “When they give you a smile or ask ‘Can I give you a hug?’ after a 12-hour shift, it makes me still want to come in tomorrow.”

Though she appreciates all of her patients, one girl in particular has a special place in her heart. Diagnosed with cancer just before her teen years, the girl and her family were positive and supported each other through some very difficult turns. Today that patient is back at Mary Bridge as a volunteer.

“She is going to nursing school,” Estira says. “To know I was a part of her recovery and healing process … I can’t even explain how that makes me feel. I just know I’ve done something right.”

In addition to the patients she cares for at work, Estira has a 13-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter at home, and for the past two years, she and her husband have cared for several foster children. She says her work at Mary Bridge inspired her to become a foster parent.

“Seeing the children here and what they’ve gone through, I realized, I can help other kids, too,” she says. “I can help other families.”

She also serves as a role model and mentor for other nurses on her unit.

“Precious is always willing to go the extra mile for our patients and families at Mary Bridge,” says her supervisor, Melinda Court, assistant nurse manager of the medical/surgical unit. “She always conducts herself in a gracious and professional manner showing compassion and understanding under the most difficult circumstances. Precious mentors her peers and nursing students every day through her actions and willingness to listen with intent. We are blessed to have her on our team.”

Estira’s advice to nurses early in their careers is simple.

“Just do it with love,” she says. “If you think that this is not just a profession that you do, it is a calling, that makes a big difference.”

And though she loves seeing her patients, the hugs and smiles aren’t her favorite things about nursing.

“The best part of my job is really seeing the kids get better and go home to their families,” Estira says.