Stories about: Care Team

“They call me funny guy.”

Care Team(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Billy Maxwell

Supervisor of Orthopedic Technicians

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They call me funny guy. Whether it’s in Weymouth, Waltham or here in Boston, the kids all come back for their checkups and say ‘Where’s Billy? Where’s the funny guy?’

We’re responsible for putting on casts, setting up any kind of traction for patients and also assisting the doctors with holding a patient in a certain position while they put a cast on or remove one. We do some braces, too.

It breaks my heart when a patient tells me they had a bad experience getting a cast or that their friend has had a bad experience, and they come with a preconceived notion that they’ll have that experience. But if it goes well, they’ll tell their friends: ‘Oh, that didn’t hurt.’

Taking the fear out of the child, that’s my biggest goal.

I have never once woken up and said, ‘I don’t feel like coming to work today.’ Success to me is doing something that you love and that you want to do every day.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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Insider’s guide to care: Doctors and dogs

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Olivia and Dayton

Olivia Burgess knows every nook and cranny of Boston Children’s Hospital. The 13-year-old and her parents have traveled from their home in Bermuda to Boston since Olivia was three years old for ongoing treatments for systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid (idiopathic) arthritis and pediatric lupus.

“The unpredictable and severe nature of Olivia’s condition and the frequent travel required for medical treatment can be stressful at times,” says her mother Traci. Olivia sees providers in multiple departments: cardiology, nephrology, pulmonology, dermatology, neurology, gastroenterology and orthopedic surgery.

Drs. Fatma Dedeoglu and Marybeth Son, both in the Boston Children’s Rheumatology Program, are Olivia’s primary providers and serve as home base for her frequent visits. “We have cared for Olivia since she was a toddler. She’s like one of our own children,” says Dedeoglu.

The hospital’s four-legged, furry volunteers and their owners also play important roles in Olivia’s care and help the teen stay positive.

Olivia is an enthusiastic participant in Boston Children’s Pawprints Program — the hospital’s dog visitation service.

“Her face lights up when she talks about dogs. This program can really make a difference for kids who love animals,” says Son.

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Connecting kids with Santa Claus

20151210_CareTeamVirtualSanta-1(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Mark Hourigan, Manager, Communication Services

Tom Norton, Team Lead, Audio Visual Services

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Mark: We’ve set up a video chat with Santa Claus in the North Pole. This allows our kids to catch Santa during his busy season. It’s difficult to be in the hospital during the holidays — away from home and family and all of the traditions — so we’re just trying to bring a little smile. If we can distract a patient for 20 minutes, we’ll work around the clock.

Tom: We take an innovative technology from our day-to-day business and collaboration, and we use it to connect children with Santa. This is really about giving our patients a break from the challenges they face here to just have a simple happy experience. It really brings things into perspective. We had a child today get up here, and Santa asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” The child answered, “I just want everybody to be happy.”

Mark: We see parents out there taking pictures. We see their tears. Every one of them is thanking us on the way out the door. We absolutely do this for the kids and the families, but I also do it for my team. Often times they’re so separated from what we do, but today they really connect to the job.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

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“I hand out a lot of Kleenex and do a lot of hugging.”

CareTeamMirandaRachel_3(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Miranda Day, Program Manager, Creative Arts Program

and her mom

Rachel Guardiani, Patient and Family Educator, Medicine Patient Services

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Miranda: I’ve worked here for 12 years; first in Child Life Services and now I run the Creative Arts program. Before that, I was a patient here. I had seven surgeries; the last one was 27 years ago.

Rachel: I run the Resource Room for parents on the ninth floor. I work in collaboration with our Nursing, Social Work, Child Life and chaplains in supporting our inpatient families. We offer chair massage, hand massage and Reiki, and we also provide emergency clothing and toiletries, free coffee and pastries, computers, books, painting and crocheting.

When parents are hearing some of the worst possible news, I can feel it in my bones that they’re so scared. I really do understand what they’re going through. They don’t want to cry or be angry in front of their children so they come here where they feel like somebody is taking care of them. It’s a place of respite and emotional support. I hand out a lot of Kleenex and do a lot of hugging.

Miranda: I think Mom and I approach our jobs as who we really are. She’s a crier and a feeler — always wanting to nurture and take care of us. I’m a fighter and have never wanted to be identified as my diagnosis.

I’ve always pushed for programs that help patients express themselves as individuals with fun, creative talents, along with their diagnoses. Yes, you’re a patient but you’ve also been something else — an artist, a student, a brother, a sister — so let’s keep going with that.

Rachel: When Miranda was a patient, I always looked at it as one moment in time. And that’s how I think about all these children — today might be a bad day, but tomorrow’s going to be a great day.

close-quote

 

care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.

Read Full Story