May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, an annual celebration that recognizes the historical achievements, cultural contributions and influence of AAPI individuals and communities. To recognize the month, Nhi Haines, a respiratory professional development specialist at Akron Children’s, shares more about her role at the hospital and her Vietnamese heritage.
What’s your role at Akron Children’s, and how long have you been with the hospital?
I am a respiratory professional development specialist for the Respiratory Care Department. I have worked at Akron Children’s for almost 22 years.
What do you enjoy most about your work at Akron Children’s?
It’s always brought me joy to be able to focus on direct patient care and help patients and their families. Another joy for me is having the opportunity to share my knowledge with others by training and teaching a new generation of respiratory therapists and nurses.
What does Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
As someone who works in the medical profession with patients and families of different backgrounds, it is important to learn as much as I can about them, including their cultures and beliefs, to give them the best care I can. AAPI Heritage Month is a great opportunity for others to do the same. I appreciate that so many people are interested in learning about my culture.
How do you recognize, honor and celebrate your Asian American heritage?
This year, we have a neighbor and friend who is a former marine and Vietnam veteran. We will have him over for dinner with our Vietnamese friends and family to thank you him for his service and share our culture through food and conversation.
As we strive to deliver culturally competent care and create an inclusive environment for our patients and families, what would you like others to know?
An important aspect of Vietnamese culture I would like to share is that our language consists of seven different tones. When we speak English, it can sound like we are raising our voice when we are actually using our different tones.