Brittany Nelson is the March 2010 All Children's Hospital Employee of the Month. Brittany works in Child Life as a Child Life Specialist and has been with All Children's since 2006. Brittany was nominated for Employee of the Month by the mother of a patient who recognized Brittany's Service Excellence and said:
Getting one of those calls from my son's school had to be one of the most horrifying events of my life. Meeting the ambulance at the ER and being told my son was going to need all kinds of tests was very scary. We are used to the annual CT scans and X-rays because my son has hydrocephalus and has had three brain surgeries at All Children's. But going into un-chartered territory with him having his first seizure at school was extremely scary.
The last time he had blood drawn or an IV, he was an infant, so when we were told that's what needed to be done in the EC, I got a horrible pit in my stomach. But then I remembered watching a video on BeACH (All Children's Hospital Intranet) about the All Children's Child Life Therapists and asked the nurse if it was possible for my son, who is eight years old, to utilize their services. Brittany Nelson was amazing with my son. I really expected we were going to have to hold him down to get the straw into his arm. Brittany had a wonderful way of keeping him calm and composed. She involved him in his treatment and kept him engaged and interested in his blood draw. And, my son has not let go of his prize Batman Brittany gave him since we left the hospital.
I have read about Child Life Therapists and how important they are, but now I know this to be true first-hand. We are hoping this was just a one-time thing that will never happen again, but if it does, I will always request Child Life when my son comes to All Children's - Brittany was amazing!
Working in the EC, Brittany supports many patients like the one mentioned here through many different procedures. Her goal is to help the patient end up feeling like a participant in their care rather than a victim. This not only sets the stage for success for the child in future health care visits, but also helps staff so the procedure goes smoothly. In the EC's fast paced environment, Brittany has to establish rapport with children very quickly under stressful circumstances and she is very good at doing just that. Patients respond easily to her respectful approach and are often able to focus on some distraction techniques during procedures. You can actually see the relief on the faces of the parents when their child's anxiety is successfully managed. Brittany is very good at facilitating effective coping.
Brittany, thank you for your wonderful contributions to the Child Life Department, outstanding Service Excellence, and all you do for our patients and families. Congratulations for being selected the All Children's Hospital Employee of the Month!