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Inspiring Stories

Methodist Labor and Delivery Nurse Recognized for Advocating for Patient’s Birth Experience

Published: Aug. 9, 2021

“I think the ideal nurse is a huge advocate for their patients,” Megan Samland said.

An advocate is what she was looking for when she arrived at Methodist Women’s Hospital in April to deliver her second daughter, Toren. When Megan gave birth to firstborn Tayah two years before at another area hospital, she said her desire for a natural birth was brushed off, and she felt pressured into an epidural.

She wanted to try for a natural birth again. And this time, Megan got her advocate in labor and delivery nurse Megan Shaneyfelt, BSN, RN. For Shaneyfelt’s support and care, Megan – an Omaha health care worker herself – nominated her for The DAISY Award, a national award recognizing exceptional and compassionate nursing care.     

 

“You’re Strong. You Can Do This”

Megan Shaneyfelt
Labor and delivery nurse Megan Shaneyfelt

In her nomination, Megan wrote: “From the moment I met my nurse, Megan, she was kind, warm and exuded compassion. She walked me through every step of the process, allowed me to advocate for myself and my baby, and supported me in every step. What set her apart was that she made me the leader in my decisions after educating me about my options. As a health care professional and a second-time mom, that was a breath of fresh air for me. I’m not a labor and delivery nurse. I don’t know everything. But I knew that I could completely trust what Megan was telling me.”

Megan recalled Shaneyfelt’s encouragement as she got closer to delivery and the pain intensified.

“When I got to the transition phase of getting ready to have the baby – in those moments where it feels out of control and kind of crazy – I remember hearing her say: ‘You’re strong. You can do this,’” she said. “That’s something that stood out and has stuck with me.”

“Natural labors are hard because they’re a mental pull on everyone,” said Shaneyfelt, who was surprised with The DAISY Award last month. “Mothers get to the point where they’re saying, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ They think it’s going to be forever, but it’s 20 more minutes. Getting them to that point when delivery goes well and they have the biggest sigh of relief – it’s just a crazy thing to see that we’ve worked so hard all day, and now we have a delivery, and everyone’s so happy.”

 

A Driving Force

Toren Samland
Toren

Megan and baby Toren reunited with Shaneyfelt at the DAISY ceremony to give their gratitude in person. And Megan especially wanted to acknowledge how difficult the COVID-19 pandemic has been for nurses.

“On days where things feel heavy and hard, I wanted this to be a good reminder that she’s doing a really good job – and to keep it up because she’s making a difference,” Megan said.

Shaneyfelt was surprised by the award – she’s been a nurse for only three years. And she was touched that Megan made time to nominate her while caring for a newborn and toddler.

“It’s a good reminder of why I love nursing so much,” she said.

Megan is grateful that her family chose Methodist to welcome Toren into the world.

“We felt safe, we felt heard, and we definitely felt supported through the whole process,” she said.

And while she’s thankful for everyone who cared for her family, she’ll never forget Shaneyfelt.

“Megan was the driving forced that allowed me to have the birth that I had hoped for,” she said. “She’s exactly the person I think of when I imagine a nurse.”

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About the Author

Cassandra Belek is a content strategist for Methodist Health System. She spent a decade working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and Chicago before joining the Methodist family and focusing on her love of writing and storytelling. 

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