What stands out most about Rachel Sweitzer, CNP? Her kind, friendly and empathetic personality. It’s these important character traits that better help her get to know patients and families on a personal level, offer individualized care and support, and ultimately, create trustworthy relationships.
As Akron Children’s newest certified nurse practitioner in our Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center, Rachel offers a daily dose of friendliness and comfort to patients, from prenatal to young adult, with complex, chronic or serious medical conditions, including genetic disorders, cancer, prematurity, neurologic disorders, and heart and lung conditions. In her role, her goal is to relieve symptoms, along with the pain and stress of a serious illness to improve a patient’s quality of life, while helping families coordinate care.
No doubt, the hardest part of Rachel’s day is caring for kids with complex medical problems, but the easiest — and her favorite — part is developing relationships with patients, families and co-workers. After all, she enjoys being that familiar face, friend and valuable resource to patients and families who deserve extraordinary care.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I have always had an interest in pediatrics. As a young nurse, I worked here on the transitional care unit and I loved the team atmosphere and collective goal of providing high-quality and safe care. When I moved back to Ohio as a nurse practitioner, I knew Akron Children’s is where I wanted to work.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I am a certified nurse practitioner with the pediatric palliative care team. I hope to bring comfort, care, knowledge and support as a provider to my patients and families. I also hope to be a friendly face and valuable resource.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
Pediatric palliative care can be crucial for holistic patient care. I chose to work in this area of pediatrics because I believe these kids and their families deserve extraordinary care, and I want to be part of the team that can provide them the comfort and resources they need and deserve.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
My favorite mentor is Emily Harvison, PNP, because not only is she knowledgeable and supportive, but she also is an example of someone that truly loves what she does.
How does your personality fit your role?
I am very friendly, empathetic and kind. These characteristics are important for the patient population I work with because I am approachable and comforting.
What is the easiest part of your job?
The easiest and one of my favorite parts of my job is developing relationships with my patients, their families and my co-workers. I like being a familiar face, friend and confidant.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to being a valuable part of the Akron Children’s team to whom others can come for questions and support.
What excites you most about medicine?
I love that medicine is ever-changing, expanding and improving. I look forward to the future and what we will accomplish to improve patient outcomes.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Akron area, but most recently lived in Tennessee and Arizona.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My husband, Tristen, is an army captain, and we have 2 Australian Shepherds named Phoebe (blue merle) and Aggie (red tri).
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
I like to spend time with my family, hike, cook, and I recently got into watercoloring.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love to visit Charleston, South Carolina. It is one of my favorite places. I love the history and charm of the city and beaches.