Carla Porterfield

Carla Porterfield, RN

Pediatric Special Care Unit
The Children's Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center
Savannah, Georgia
United States

“Carla takes care of the whole family when caring for a child in PSU.
She follows the model of family nursing and also takes care of all needs
– physical, mental, and spiritual (if they chose and if they don’t
she still prays for them). She is a role model for palliative care –
meeting all needs. There are so many examples, but the main one happened
in September. A patient was going to pass away and Carla had talked with
family/extended family though out the week before, and they wanted her
there when their child when to heaven. She talked with family/friends as
they came in to visit, letting them know what to expect and that sharing
emotions was ok. The patient herself looked forward to being on the PSU
when she went to heaven. Carla was able to talk with the family openly
and vice versa – about God and heaven. Carla gave report after her
shift but didn’t go home to her family. She stayed until hours after
her shift. During this time she stood at the child’s bedside and held
the families members hands. I needed her support. (She takes care of her
co-workers and friends too) Granddad’s eyes lit up when he walked into
the room and saw that Carla was still there. She talked with our patient
and soothed the whole room. Carla was able to get the family past a
short moment of anger that mom needed to share. She placed granddad’s
hands over his granddaughter’s heart so that he could show his love at
the crowded bedside. After the patient passed away, she helped me get
hand prints and some locks of hair and finally I got her to go on home.
She was able to go to the visitation and has already touched base with
dad and step mom to check in on them and make lunch plans to check in on
them and to let them know they and their daughter are not forgotten."