Anna Hetrick joined our NICU team in January 2011 as a recent graduate from nursing school. She was recognized by her preceptors during her orientation as a mature, sensitive and compassionate nurse.
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, we received an admission from Harrisburg Hospital, a baby boy who was suffering from birth asphyxia. During his two week stay here, Anna was his bedside nurse and developed a special bond with the parents of this baby. When it became evident that the baby’s condition was severe and irreversible, his parents made the decision to withdrawal life support. The appropriate services were notified and with Anna’s gentle guidance, the Gift of Life program became involved.
Anna was by his bedside that weekend, providing emotional support to the parents and multiple family members that came by to say goodbye. Anna participated in all family meetings with the medical team and served as an advocate for the family and baby during these meetings. Our chaplain, who had visited with the family, witnessed the interactions with Anna and the family.
Later the chaplain came to the NICU management team and expressed how great Anna’s interactions with the family was and how Anna demonstrated sensitivity to the families needs and use her own life experiences to empathize and provide the appropriate emotional, relational care. Anna was able to demonstrate her mature sensitive, caring manner which can often times only be modeled and observed by others, rather than taught in a structured classroom. This is a unique gift Anna possesses. Many of our younger staff are very focused on tasks and shy away from the more difficult emotional assignments.
Anna has wisdom far beyond her age, which can be expressed as having an “old and mature soul”.