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 Natalie Allen, RN, a staff nurse on our Akron campus, who recently received the following feedback from a patient family:
“For the last few hospital stays for my son on floor 6100, we have had the pleasure of having Natalie Allen, RN, as one of our night staff nurses. She goes above and beyond to make us as comfortable as possible and is always looking for ways to help better our stay and the overall care of our disabled son. She is one of a kind and an asset to your hospital. This is coming from a family that has a child with severe disabilities, who has spent the last 9 years in and out of Akron Children’s.”
How long have you worked at Akron Children’s, and what’s your role?
I have worked as a registered nurse on 6100, the surgical subspecialty unit, for a little more than one year now, and it has been such a blessing!
Reflecting on this patient experience and the feedback you received, how do you feel about it?
I am familiar with this family, and they are the sweetest people I have had the pleasure to meet here. Honestly, that review brought me to tears when I read it. It feels so good to know that I am making a difference in these families’ lives, as they are in mine.
As a nurse working the night shift, how do you make patients and families feel comfortable during their hospital stay?
As a nurse, especially on the night shift, it can be difficult to always give the amount of time I would like to with every patient, because staffing is not always perfect. However, I have learned that no matter how stressed I am, I always try to remain kind and calm around each patient. Kindness goes a long way here. This can mean silly stuff, like getting your patient a cheese stick or asking them about their stuffed unicorn. To make my patients and their families feel comfortable, I try to be kind and empathetic, while I educate them on their care plan.
What does patient- and family-centered care mean to you? How do you strive to deliver that care?
To me, patient- and family-centered care means treating every patient like they are a person, not their disease or circumstance. I always put myself in the mindset of the upset mother or the scared patient and adjust my care approach accordingly.
What do you most enjoy about your work at Akron Children’s?
Besides the patients, what I most enjoy at Akron Children’s is my 6100 team. They have taught me so much about teamwork, compassion and friendship.