Abigail Dinh is just the woman to blaze the trail as Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s first certified nurse practitioner in perioperative surgery to screen children for upcoming operations. While the hospital’s main campus has always provided perioperative evaluations, patient families in Boardman can now receive this service in their community.
Prior to joining the Mahoning Valley perioperative team, Abigail served as a nurse float, where she had the opportunity to work and gain experience in several departments, treating children of all different age groups and variable diagnoses. Today, she is honored to apply her invaluable experiences.
In her new role, Abigail will conduct medical histories and physicals to prepare and clear children for upcoming surgeries of all types to help improve outcomes. She hopes to lead the charge in streamlining surgical services to make an already stressful situation much smoother for patients and families. Her top priority is to ease any anxiety and fear by leaving patients feeling confident and reassured in their care.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I decided I wanted to work for Akron Children’s when I had clinicals at the Boardman campus, while working on my undergraduate nursing degree. I was originally intimidated to work with children, as I had little experience with kids in general. However, once I had the privilege to care for them as a nurse, I realized how resilient kids are and observed just how quickly they can get sick and yet bounce back just as fast! Between the joy I experienced taking care of those kids and the friendliness of every staff member I encountered, I realized Akron Children’s was where I wanted to be for the rest of my career.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
I am a nurse practitioner in perioperative surgery at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. In this role, I will be conducting pre-operative histories and physicals in order to screen children for upcoming surgeries. This is a new service at the Mahoning Valley campus. Currently, anesthesia or primary care offices are completing this task.
I am hoping this role will allow availability at our pediatrician offices, as well as streamline our surgical services at Mahoning Valley. This service has always been available through the Akron campus, but having this option for our patients in Youngstown could also make a stressful experience much easier for patients and families.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
In perioperative surgery, I will be evaluating kids for all different types of surgeries so my area of expertise needs to be broad. As a former float nurse, this role was a good fit as floating allowed me to gain experience with different age groups and variable diagnoses. I chose this role because it posed a new challenge for me and I felt was an area that my experience could be put to good use.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope to leave my patients feeling confident in the care they receive, while feeling relieved of any fear or anxiety by my reassurance.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part is interacting with patients and families. I love kids, and getting to make a career out of caring for them is amazing.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of completing my master’s degree, accepting a nurse practitioner position with Akron Children’s and becoming a mother!
What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to starting my role in the Mahoning Valley and offering pre-surgical services at a more convenient location to our patients and families.
What excites you most about medicine?
I enjoy the constant advancements in medicine. As a health-care professional, you can learn something new every day. It is imperative to continually educate yourself because medicine is always changing and improving.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My family includes my husband, Peter, my daughter, Elena, and our rescue dog, Scarlet.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
My husband and I have a lot of traveling on our bucket lists, including the redwood national forest, Scotland (we visited Ireland in 2019 and loved it), and possibly Australia one day. We would like to travel more of the East Coast in the upcoming years so we can bring our daughter and dog along.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4
What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday! There are no strings attached. It is just about bringing family together, enjoying a delicious meal and taking time to recognize our blessings. (And, no, I do not go black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving evenings are for napping and dessert!)
What skill would you like to master?
I’ve always wanted to be proficient at an instrument. I actually was looking into violin lessons, but then COVID hit. My goal now is to take music lessons with my daughter if/when she wants to and with whatever instrument she desires (my favorites are violin and piano).