Before coming to ChildServe, 16-year-old Sarah spent several months in the hospital recovering from a car crash. In addition to broken bones and internal injuries, she sustained large wounds and lost a lot of muscle and tissue.
Doctors at Mercy Hospital took skin grafts from the backs of Sarah’s legs to replace the lost tissue and gave her wound vacs to help these spots heal. Each of her injuries required a lot of attention and care, so Sarah relied on ChildServe’s nursing services in the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit to continue her journey towards recovery.
“Sarah had a mixture of needs that we were able to help her with,” said Marie Porter, Clinical Supervisor at ChildServe. “She had a couple wounds that needed different treatments because of damaged tissue. She used a support surface while in bed to reduce any pressure and help her heal, and nurses supported Sarah with everything she needed.”
Sarah’s nurses changed her wound dressings every day and kept a close eye on her progress. The places where her skin was fragile became stronger, and her restrictions on her sleeping and sitting positions lessened. Even with the injuries around her hips and back, Sarah was able to go to the mall, shoot hoops and ride the zipline while at ChildServe.
Sarah befriended the nurses who helped her care for her injuries during her time at ChildServe. Just a few weeks before her accident, Sarah decided she would like to go to college to become a nurse. Her up-close experience with nurses in the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit solidified her decision and gave her a unique perspective on her future career. Sarah’s nurses, who quickly became more like friends, got her even more excited to learn about nursing.
“Nurses are my best friends,” said Sarah. “I really want to be a traveling nurse, especially now. I’d just travel and go wherever it takes me.”
Sarah observed and even practiced some of the nursing basics, like drawing her blood and caring for her wounds. She hopes her hands-on experience will give her a head start in her future.
“I really can’t say enough about what a neat person Sarah is,” said Marie. “She would involve herself with all her care – that initiative shows me she will be a great nurse one day. Sarah will have the advantage of being able to put herself in her patients’ shoes, which can only add to how great she will be.”
After several weeks at ChildServe, Sarah was discharged from the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit and went back home. She plans to return to her high school in the fall for her junior year, graduate on time and start working towards her career as a nurse. Good luck, Sarah!
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 4,500 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.