Compassionate care can’t be rushed

Springfield | December 7, 2018
provider helps young patient feel better
Initially inconsolable, a young patient overcomes fear with caregiver’s help

One teen’s immunization visit started with uncontrollable tears, but ended with smiles and pride, thanks to help from Aimee Marney, lead medical assistant at the PeaceHealth Primary Care Clinic in Springfield, Oregon.

The young lady with developmental delays was “very upset,” according to Stephanie Parrott, the clinic manager. She was “crying uncontrollably.” Not even her family caregiver was able to help her relax.

That’s when Aimee stepped in to offer assistance. Calmly entering the room, she “got down on her knees in front of the patient and started addressing the concerns” that the patient didn’t want to get a shot.

As a distraction, Aimee offered stickers, but the patient said she didn’t like stickers.

“Aimee continued to talk to the patient in a calm and respectful manner, validated her concerns and was able to get the patient to calm down,” says Stephanie.

After about 10 minutes, the young lady asked to use the restroom and said on her way “I am ready for my shot. I want to be brave.” Aimee thanked the teen and reassured her that everything would be okay.

And it was. Aimee gave the immunization without further tears. The patient was clearly happy and proud of her accomplishments.

Before leaving the clinic, the patient asked for some stickers after all. Aimee happily complied.

Later, when Aimee hand wrote a thank you note, praising the patient’s bravery, she tucked a few extra stickers in with the card.

To Aimee, the experience was a reminder to “slow down, be patient and spend a little more time when you can. It’s easy to forget when there is so much to do every day”, she says.

And this wasn’t only a chance to help a patient. Aimee also saw it as a chance to come to the aid of a fellow caregiver in a challenging situation. “We are a family here,” she beams, “I am proud to be on this team.”