Every day at Akron Children’s, we strive to deliver compassionate care and create positive experiences for our patients and families. This month, we’re spotlighting Jennifer Anson, a diagnostic medical sonographer in Maternal Fetal Medicine who recently received the following feedback from a patient family:
“The credit for our miracle baby being here lies with [Maternal Fetal Medicine] ultrasound technician Jennifer Anson, because without her amazing work, my son would never have survived. I was at Maternal Fetal Medicine for a routine follow-up ultrasound to my anatomy scan. Jen was our ultrasound technician, and I was thrilled to see her again after she had done our anatomy scan 8 weeks prior. As she viewed (baby), Jen became concerned with the size of his belly only being 3rd percentile. The entire time she kept me informed, but also kept me calm. She reassured me she would get all the information together for the doctor to determine the issue. Shortly after the doctor came in and Jen showed her where the issues were, she informed me if I had not had that appointment and Jen been so diligent at her job, I would have had a still birth in a matter of 3-7 days. A few short hours later after being admitted, our miracle baby was born. The thing that stands out to me most – now that I have had time to process the whole situation – is how much Jen listened to me on top of being excellent at her job. She listened to what I said and when she started to see issues, came back to the topic to ask more questions to apply to what she was seeing. For this, I will be forever grateful for her and her amazing work which saved my son.”
How long have you worked at Akron Children’s, and what’s your role?
I am currently a diagnostic medical sonographer in Maternal Fetal Medicine. I have been employed with Akron Children’s in this role for 13 years. I previously went to Akron Children’s Radiologic Technology program (graduated in 1999) and worked a few years in Radiology, before continuing my education to become a diagnostic medical sonographer.
Reflecting on this patient experience and the feedback you received, how do you feel about it?
I was extremely touched by this patient’s heartfelt comment and felt incredibly honored. She experienced a tremendously stressful situation and took the time to reflect and show gratitude for the people who were placed in her path. Her comment reminded me that the small things we do really matter.
When you identify a potential issue on a scan, how do you keep your patients informed but calm?
When we identify something of concern on an ultrasound scan, we reassure them that we are gathering all the information from the ultrasound, and then the physician will thoroughly go over the results when we are finished. I let them know we have a great team that will guide them through all their questions and concerns.
What does patient- and family-centered care mean to you? How do you strive to deliver that care?
Patient and family-centered care means that the entire family is included in the ultrasound. The patient’s significant other is generally in the ultrasound room during their scan, and I ask mom and dad questions so they both feel included (Do they have a name for their baby? Do they have other children? What’s their family history? Etc.). Siblings are often included by being sent home with an ultrasound picture of their baby brother or sister with a comment, such as “Hi, Big Brother or Big Sister.”
What do you most enjoy about your work at Akron Children’s?
I take pride in working with a great team in Maternal Fetal Medicine. The quality of work and the compassion they have for every patient is extremely special. They continue to strive to be the best by continuing to learn and adapt to new technology to provide the very best patient care. It is also a pleasure to work alongside peers who are supportive and a complete joy to work with.