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David Riling


David Riling, RN

mental health inpatient

James A. Haley VA Hospital



David Riling embodies characteristics of a DAISY Award winning nurse who exemplifies outstanding leadership at the unit level, extraordinary patient care and advocacy for patients. During a code orange to MICU, David assumed leadership of the team. When we arrived we noticed a tray on the floor, food and other items on the floor that had been shoved off the bedside table. Inside the room was a young muscular veteran with tattoos all over his body appearing ready for battle. David assessed the situation by asking the staff for details leading up to the code orange call. The patient's nurse described the situation related to the patient's anger and outburst pertaining to not being able to leave the hospital. Exemplifying leadership abilities and confidence in his de-escalation skills, David went into the room and sat down in front of the patient at eye level. Along with a low voice tone and an attitude of concern and caring, he was able to gather information about the patient's perception of the problem and the patient's desires. The patient wanted to be discharged AMA. David assured the patient that he would advocate for his rights and desires and discussed alternatives to anger and threats. At that point, David began advocating for the patient, called the patient's attending physician to discuss the patient's desire to be discharged. Consequently, the patient was discharged and a potentially dangerous situation was defused. Another example of David's patient centered focus is his efforts to extend weekend visiting hours at the request of a patient. A patient discussed with David their frustration with visiting hours on the weekend. The patient asked David why visiting hours couldn't be extended on the weekend to allow more time to visit with families, especially families traveling from surrounding areas. David took this suggestion to Interdisciplinary committee and consulted with the nursing and physician leadership team to determine the best way to implement this change. As result of David's advocacy and excellent customer service mindfulness, visiting hours on the weekend has been extended to a longer period of time. David is an exceptional role-model demonstrating a "can do" attitude. He states it is all about "attitude". He is calm and confident in his psychiatric skills, specifically his communication and collaborative skills. Even though he towers over mostly everyone, he has a calm, non-threatening demeanor with staff and patients; he pitches in where he is needed. He leads by example. He can be called on to intervene with difficult patients and complex decision making situation. He is respected by physicians, leadership and coworkers alike. He interacts with engineers and other hospital staff who visits the units. He coordinated the reengineering of the medication and assessment rooms on ARC II. He discussed the progress with the engineers, followed up and communicated outcomes to mental health nursing leadership. David is a committed nursing professional who loves psychiatric nursing and has the desire to build a positive working team on ARC I and II. David agreed to accept the role of acting assistant nurse manager to provide some stability to the unit during a time when the leadership team was in transition. He accepted this responsibility with no compensation. When the announcement was made about his accepting this role in a meeting with staff, the direct care staff from his unit cheered. This behavior shows how much respect and trust the staff has in him. He shows appreciation for his coworker's exceptional patient care, cooperativeness, and excellent team abilities. David frequently writes the staff he works with up for gold stars. I highly recommend him for the DAISY Award! He is an extraordinary nurse, patient advocate, team leader, professional role-model and human being.


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