At Akron Children’s Hospital, our compassionate and skilled health care team is what makes us special. In this continuing blog series, we introduce you to the Akron Children’s providers who make a difference every day in the lives of our patients and their families.
Jenny Soblosky, registered respiratory therapist, began working at Akron Children’s in 2010 at age 23. She started her career as a burn technician before transitioning to the emergency department, where she worked as a suture tech while she went to school (using the hospital’s tuition assistance program) to pursue respiratory therapy.
As a vital part of the health care team, respiratory therapists care for a wide variety of patients from babies born not breathing or in respiratory distress, to patients with lifelong respiratory issues or acute respiratory illness, to trauma patients. Below Jenny shares a little more about her role as a full-time employee and mom to 3 boys.
What aspect of your job are you most passionate about?
I enjoy getting to work in all the different units and participate in patient, family and staff education. My skills are often challenged and put to the test, which helps me continue to learn and evolve. Akron Children’s allows me to grow by giving me the tools and incentives to better myself as a respiratory therapist.
What advice would you give to new respiratory therapists joining Akron Children’s?
Due to COVID and many other factors, their schooling and clinical experiences were probably different from those who came before them. It can be overwhelming when you enter this field as a new grad, but Akron Children’s orientation is second to none. We help train them and give them the tools they need to be an outstanding respiratory therapist. I have the mindset that I can teach anyone to be a good respiratory therapist. All they need is to have kindness, compassion, empathy and a willingness to learn.
What’s been your happiest moment on the job?
One evening a parent stopped me on the bridge. I had been caring for her child the past few shifts in the ICU. She grabbed me and hugged me. Through her tears she thanked me and told me what a difference I had made for her while she was here. It was a short, simple moment, but it was so heartwarming.
What self-care routine do you use to help you deal with stress and avoid burnout?
I enjoy spending time with my boys, reading and listening to a true crime podcast to unwind.
Why do you choose to stay in a health care career?
I love what I do. What we do matters, and someone has to step up and take on these roles.
How important is work/life balance to you and how do you find it?
This is something I think we all struggle with. As a mom who works full time and then some, it’s something I’m constantly working on. I’m open to suggestions!
How does being a parent influence your work/role at a children’s hospital?
In addition to providing patient care and treating these kids like my own, I’ve been in their shoes as a patient’s parent. I always ask if they need anything, if they have any questions or sometimes, I just listen. If I have a few extra minutes, I ask if they want to grab a coffee or take a walk while I’m there. I remind them how important self-care is, because they can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes it may be as simple as grabbing a pillow to place under a parent’s weary arm after their baby finally fell asleep for the first time in hours.
We know it takes a village. How do you feel your team/village impacts your work?
My co-workers have become my second family. I had a very difficult year culminating with my mother unexpectedly passing away. I cannot list the ways that my co-workers showed up for me in those moments – not just when my mom passed away but the entire year. I’m standing on my own two feet today because they held me up and carried me through some of the most difficult times of my life this past year.