Jeanne Harjo

Jeanne Harjo, BSN, RNIII, CPN

Gastroenterology
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States

Our son (with short bowel syndrome) was transferred to CCHMC via mobile ICU to save his life. We were admitted to the GI floor and the devastating news of his condition shook our family to the core. Nurse Jeanne arrived as part of the GI team. Rounds were quick and I was left with many questions, concerns, and fears. She returned almost every day of our five week stay before rounds, after rounds, or after she had finished for the day. She patiently answered my questions with honesty and loving kindness. She explained complicated procedures, diagnoses, and expectations in a way that made me feel at ease and knowledgeable. Her time spent with our family was a Godsend. She helped to educate me so that I was able to participate in my son's course of care, explain his situation to family, and make important decisions. She made herself available by e-mail if questions came up during the evening or on the weekends. Her responses were always timely and made me feel more secure about what was happening with our son.

Nurse Jeanne is always there! That means so much to have a "life line" when something happens. She makes herself available through e-mail and phone calls when anything comes up. She always makes time to answer questions and KNOWS our son's history backwards and forwards. Interacting with her on the phone, via e-mail or in clinic is like working with a member of the family. She cares, listens, explains, and encourages in every single interaction! She makes our family feel cared about and not like "just another patient."

Before we were ready to discharge from the hospital, I had to learn our son's home care for his central line and ng tube. I was terrified to say the least. I had no nursing experience and felt unqualified. Jeanne helped to prepare me by thoroughly explaining line care and tube placement. She encouraged me when I felt like I couldn't possibly do this. She lifted my spirits when I was angry and lost. She worked by my side to help me succeed and feel confident in my skills. Knowing I could care for our son at home made a world of difference. It improved our quality of life by giving us the opportunity to leave the hospital and enjoy daily life again. It brought us closer to family and friends again because Cincinnati is 4 hours away from home.

We were preparing for our son's central line placement. We were scared, tired, emotional, and didn't know what to do. Nurse Jeanne came into our room to explain what would happen, where our son would go, what was involved with anesthesia and the procedure, how he would feel, how long it would take, and what he would look like afterwards. She reassured us, comforted us, and took the time to make us feel better before they took our son to the procedure. Her presence and confidence gave us the strength to get through a tough day and difficult experience. Her heartfelt care and concern are evident in all she does.

Through the interactions with Nurse Jeanne, I felt knowledgeable about SBS, CVL care and practices, enteral feeding, TPN and lipids, and intestinal rehab. She empowered me to be an integral part of our son's care and his well-being. Her positive attitude and "we can do it" personality helped our family through a very difficult time. She does all of this without being asked to. She helps, cares, advocates, and loves her patients tirelessly. We are forever grateful for the impact she has had on our lives. She helped us bring our son home and care for him in a way that keeps him safe and helps him thrive!