Clare Faulhaber, a Nursing Assistant at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, talks about her job.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
I work on a pediatric medical-surgical unit, which includes cardiology, pulmonary and renal patients. First, I learn why the patients are there; then, I check doctors' or nurses' orders. I take vital signs, give baths and assist with dressing changes and procedures. I feed babies and help patients wherever I'm needed. I'm also a nursing station technician, so I answer phones, coordinate test and procedure times, call to admit and discharge patients and answer questions at the desk.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
I'm often the first person greeting the patients when they get to the floor. I'm their first impression, so that's important. I help figure out patients' needs, bridge that gap between nurses and doctors and make their stay as enjoyable as possible.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
I interact with nurses, doctors, patients, families and friends of patients, environmental services staff, dietary aides and engineers.
Q: Why did you become a pediatric nursing assistant?
I have a bachelor's degree in child psychology and took a nursing assistant class to see if I liked nursing. I volunteered on this unit and had a feeling that this would be a good place to work. Now, I'm studying for my master's in nursing. Being a nursing assistant helped me figure out where I wanted to be involved and where I fit in.
Q: What do you like about your work?
I love interacting with the families, having everyone there who is taking care of this kid and wants them to get better as much as we do. It's nice to see kids who come in sick be able to go home healthy and to make a stressful time a little bit easier.
- Nancy Crotti