August 2020
Anna
Conrad
,
BSN, RN, CPN
NICU
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

 

 

 

Anna constantly goes above and beyond to provide care for my son. From asking his doctor for something to help him more comfortable in encouraging developmentally appropriate activities and playing with him. My son is only 5 months old but recognizes her voice and smiles when he sees her. When My son first got his trach, she started setting him up in bed with the boppy and encourage him to turn his head and look around. Anna immediately got us on the waitlist for a therapy chair for my son when she saw that he loved to sit up. My son has always been really good at taking his pacifier and she advocated for letting him try bottle feeding. His team agreed to let him try 5ml bottles and after his third try, my son took the full 5ml most of the time. I was told by his Nurse Practitioner that it was unusual for trach babies to take a bottle, so was a good thing we tried before he got too old and lost the sucking reflex. We are very grateful that Anna pushed for that when she did.

Anna is very open and honest with my husband and me. She was the first person to mention the possibility of my son needing a trach and took the time to sit down with us and explain what a tracheostomy was and answer any questions we had. When his team decided he would need a trach a month later, we felt informed enough and had enough time to research ahead of time and was able to feel confident about the decision to allow the surgery as soon as he was stable. Anna has also made motivational posters for my son that we have hung up in his room. Anna quickly picks up on his likes and dislikes and knows him as well as me or my husband. Anna gets as excited as we do when he reaches milestones or learns something new.

Once my son had been scheduled for trach surgery, Anna brought us an education doll and showed us what his trach would look like and how it would work. She quickly scheduled us for Trach classes so we could start helping with trach care as soon as my son's trach had matured. We have never felt like we couldn't ask Anna questions about my son's care or about changes. Usually, if any changes are made to my son's care if Anna is the one with him that day she will sit down with us and talk about them after rounds.

When my son was having belly issues, Anna advocated for gas medicine and prune juice to help. Adding these really helped him be more comfortable and recover faster from bearing down to stool. Anna had even once called holistic medicine and arranged for my husband and me to get a message because we hadn't left the hospital in weeks because my son had an infection. My husband had been off work because of the pandemic but was called back recently. I had not left the hospital since I had my son but felt confident leaving him with Anna while I took my husband back to our home town, four hours away, since we only brought one car here when we came.

If Anna thinks something will help my son or make him more comfortable, she always asks my husband and me what we think before she brings it up to his team. Anna has been one of my son's best nurse, advocate, and cheerleader since we have been here. It truly does feel like everything she does is for my son's benefit and we have a lot of trust in her when it comes to his care. We never feel left out or in the dark because Anna makes certain that we understand and are aware of whatever happens with our baby.