Everyone who comes into contact with a patient or family member has the opportunity to advance patient care, and every person who comes into contact with a patient or family member has the opportunity to connect grateful patients and families with programs where they can express their gratitude meaningfully.
As a Child Life Specialist at the NICU, our interviewee’s job is to help kids feel less anxiety, to provide distraction. She helps siblings of newborn premies understand why their brother or sister can’t go home from the hospital right away. She helps families process what they’re going through.
It’s bringing those families together. Helping them feel connected. I know the hospital’s a stressful place for them, so I focus on just making it more like home, and making it less scary.
The day she inspired philanthropy was like any other day. She was focused, fully engrossed in the coloring activity she had set up with the child.
I hadn’t really noticed the adults in the room. We were sitting there on the floor, coloring, and the grandmother spoke up: “I love what you do.” And I said thank you. She said that she had to rewrite her will to include the baby and that she wanted to include our program.
The foundation had arranged a staff meeting just the day before and had provided a referral card with contact information, so she provided this information to the grandmother. It was a week later that the family made a significant contribution to the hospital.
We build relationships and we help connect families. I’ve really learned how to read families. They tell me what they need.
In this instance, it was meaningful for the grandmother to put the organization in her will.
Patients and families build significant relationships with the nurses, physicians, and specialists who provide care. This environment inspires philanthropy as life-changing experiences happen every day.