Stories about: nursing

Notes from a nurse on the stem cell transplant unit

Stem cell transplant nurse with patient
Colleen caring for a child on 6W

I have worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for the last 10 years, the first two as a co-op and the last eight as a staff nurse — all on 6W. I just love this floor. We’re a small, 14-bed unit that provides longer-term care for children undergoing bone marrow transplants. We see different types of leukemia and other cancer and blood disorders such as neuroblastoma, aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. We also see other genetic, metabolic and hematologic diagnoses like CVID, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, SCID, adrenoleukodystrophy and sickle cell disease, some of which we treat with gene therapy. …Read More

In Myanmar, oncology expertise travels from nurse to nurse

Image of global health team with nurses in Myanmar Through the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Global Health Initiative and World Child Cancer, oncology nurse Amy Federico, RN, CPNP, had the opportunity to travel to Yangon, Myanmar, to share her oncology expertise with the staff at Yangon Children’s Hospital. Amy’s interest in global health began eight years ago, but the trip to Myanmar in October 2017 strengthened her commitment to share her knowledge across borders. Amy, who is a nurse practitioner specializing in care of patients with solid tumors at the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, reflects on her experience abroad:

My interest in global health care has developed over the past eight years since I started attending the Society of International Oncology Pediatric annual conferences. So when Lisa Morrissey, MPH, MSN, RN, CPHON, asked me to join her and Kathryn Barrandon, MPH, BSN, CPN, on an educational trip to Myanmar, I enthusiastically accepted.

One of the pediatric oncologists at Yangon Children’s Hospital requested solid tumor nursing education so I knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to share my years of oncology experience, especially my expertise in caring for patients with solid tumors. The experience would also give me a better global perspective of health care delivery in another part of the world.

On October 27, we set off on our 22-hour, three-leg, 8,300-mile journey from Boston to Yangon. I realize now, more than ever, that access to health care depends upon where you are born and where you live.

The day after our arrival, Lisa, Katie and I toured the oncology ward. I was astounded by the overly crowded — yet oddly quiet — patient bays, ill-looking children and desperate-yet-hopeful parents. Occasionally, a parent or patient would poke his or her head out a door or up to a window, curious about the three of us visitors. Admittedly, I was saddened by the environment.

The next day, I was relieved when we returned and were greeted by 32 energetic and excited nurses from nine hospitals across four Myanmar states. In addition to providing oncology education, our goals were to advocate for specialty nursing practice and to provide collegial support to conference attendees. …Read More

Paper Trail: Challenges for developmental-behavioral workforce, pediatric dentistry trends, implications of herpes zoster and more

Clinical research from Boston Children's

Boston Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of clinical research. Stay connected with Paper Trail — a monthly feature highlighting recently published outcomes data and new approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric illnesses.

Implications of herpes zoster in vaccinated children

Researchers including dermatologist Jennifer Huang, MD, describe seven children without a history of primary varicella who presented with herpes zoster that correlated with the original VZV vaccination site and resolved without complications. These cases, published on Feb. 6 in Pediatric Dermatology, highlight the close correlation between the vaccination site and cutaneous eruption.

Trends in pediatric dental care use

Co-authored by Dentist-in-Chief Man Wai Ng and published in the April 2018 issue of Dental Clinics of North America, this article explores trends in three areas of pediatric dental services: access among Medicaid-enrolled children, treatment of oral health conditions, and use of emergency departments for dental needs among U.S. children.

Parents’ perceptions of their child’s health status 

The aim of this study by Nurse Scientists Kristine Maria Ruggiero and Judith A. Vessey, Associate Chief Nurse Patricia Hickey and colleagues, was to examine parents’ perceptions of the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in their school-age child with congenital heart disease (CHD). The results of this study, published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, are useful in providing practical recommendations in caring for children with CHDs while informing relevant policies.

Challenges for developmental-behavioral peds

In this Pediatrics paper published Feb. 16, Carolyn Bridgemohan, MD and colleagues surveyed a sample of the developmental-behavioral pediatric workforce and found it struggles to meet current service demands. Clinician burnout was reported with increased patient complexity and female subspecialists spent more time in billable and nonbillable components of clinical care.

For more clinically-actionable insights, bookmark Boston Children’s Notes blog for primary care providers.

Nursing and patient experience: Six lessons learned after 42 years

Susan Shaw offers words of wisdom after 42 years of caring for children and families.

Recently retired as Vice President, Associate Chief of Nursing and Director of Clinical Operations at Boston Children’s Hospital, Susan Shaw discusses the power of patient experience and shares lessons learned from her 42-year career working with children and families. …Read More