“Hands That Heal, Hearts That Care”

May 11, 2016

CHW LogoOur chief nursing officer used this phrase to summarize the profession of nursing at an event for Nurses’ Week, a time to celebrate that profession and the individual nurses who practice it.  In honor of the occasion this year, I have invited a guest blogger – our patients’ families!  Here is just a very small sample of the comments about our nurses from our patient and family experience surveys (names removed for privacy).

  • After rushing to the ER and getting admitted right away, we had an amazing nurse who I will never forget, his name is XXX! He cared for my son so kindly, kept me calm and tried to keep my son comfortable while providing care – although he is too young to understand Nurses and Doctors are the good people trying to help… We talked about my son’s favorite things, his family and his kids. After leaving the room XXX later came back with a Mickey Mouse toy (his favorite character lately) for my son. He told me he holds onto toys until he feels that a child needs it after a rough night in the ER. In that moment I was thankful for the pick me up and an exceptional nurse. Thank you for calming me and providing compassionate care for my son in that moment, you’re an amazing Nurse!
  • This was our best hospital stay yet. Everyone worked as a team & we felt included.  We felt like everyone listened to us.  The nurses treated our daughter like a child, including her and allowing her to make choices & be heard.  We really appreciated the care!
  • The ER staff were ALL absolutely amazing! Nurse XXX on W-10 was the BEST!  She worked all night and stayed another 4 hours and took awesome care of our son.  She spent time talking to him about things he loves.  She spent 15-20 min talking and sharing with him.  Priceless!!
  • As we left the hospital, my son said I feel like we are leaving good friends behind. That is how connected he became to the wonderful nurses who took care of him.  Children’s Hospital became a haven for us in the midst of his scary medical condition.  I cannot thank the staff enough!
  • There was a nurse in training. I wish I could remember her name, who came in on our last day, she sat & rocked and sang to my baby for several hours so I could rest.  She was very kind & I wish she knew how thankful I was for her time & gentleness with my son.
  • Every person who entered our son’s room was an angel of healing. They made a very scary situation manageable + helped us to find peace + healing.  They recognized that our whole family was part of our healing team, and we went home with a healthy child.  For that we will be extremely grateful.
  • No parent wants to see their child go through surgery, but w/ the awesome staff we had & of course all our prayers we were truly relaxed & extremely grateful! The nurses were beyond WONDERFUL!  There were two nurses who stuck out to me during my daughter’s stay – ones name was XXX & I wish I remembered the young RN who never stopped smiling or asking how we were doing or if we needed anything!
  • I just have to say that the nurses were amazing and caring and put you at ease during a very scary time. We were never left hanging and they always kept us informed, amazing care!!
  • Two nurses on 10 West deserve to be acknowledged & credited for their excellent care. They should get employee or nurse of the month awards.  They are so compassionate about their jobs & the care they give.  Absolutely best experience of our lives.  Thank you Children’s Hospital!
  • Very impressed with the level of care provided and quite impressed, truly, with the obvious strong line of communication amongst all caregivers. I’ve never seen this level of effective and efficient communication at any care facility, ever!  Hats off to your entire staff.
  • My son’s nurse XXX was amazing. I always looked forward to the evening shift when she showed up.  Evenings were hard as the rest of my family had to leave.  She made my evenings a lot better.

Hmm, communication, calming, caring, compassion.  That pretty much sums up Children’s nurses!  They are the best – because kids deserve the best.

What’s New?

May 6, 2016

CHW LogoIt’s usually a throwaway question, the answer being “Not much?  How about with you?”  But after spending the last few days at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, I’d answer “A ton!”.  Besides renewing a bit of a connection with my clinical and academic roots, I heard a lot that reinforced our value of innovation, including over 100 presentations by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin faculty, trainees, and staff.  Over the 25 years I have been involved with this meeting, it has continued to evolve for the better.  A great deal of what is presented now falls under the rubric of quality improvement, demonstrating that we can always find ways to provide care that leads to better outcomes, lower cost, and better experience, and that we are always getting better at getting better.  I left with a long list of new ideas we can consider at Children’s.  And some of my colleagues learned from what we are doing and shared at the meeting.

I also realized that good ideas don’t matter if they aren’t put into action, and that takes advocacy.  Being with thousands of pediatric providers is a sure fire way to renew one’s sense of purpose.  A particularly inspirational moment was a talk by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who helped uncover the tragedy of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan.  Spurred by the needs of her patients and families, she did the research to demonstrate the reality that Flint’s children were being poisoned, and that it was due to lead in the water.  Then she advocated for action to fix it.  Neither was easy.  Fighting attacks from the authorities who were conspiring to hide the facts, Dr. Hanna-Attisha relentlessly pursued two things – truth, and justice.  All in the interest of improving the health of children.

One thing I took from it is that we are all advocates for children.  Advocacy is simply a call for action.  Those actions can range from public policies to address the social determinants of health, to better integration of children into school after a heart transplant, to a reduction in unnecessary X-rays in infants with bronchiolitis, to greater family and nursing involvement in patient rounds – all ideas presented by the CHW team, by the way.  Making a difference means turning those innovations into practice and policy, at all levels.  Advocacy is where the rubber of innovation hits the road to having the healthiest kids.

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