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Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Healthwatch Fall 2009

'Phenomenal' Emergency Care for Children

Son's Accident Puts Trauma Nurse on Receiving Side of Care


When Amy got the call that every parent dreads, her training and experience as a pediatric trauma nurse at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital – and her faith in her colleagues – kept her calm.

Amy's son, Jason, 8, suffered a head injury when he was struck by an SUV as he and his teenage sister walked home from school. He was flown by helicopter to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital where his mother and a specialized trauma team were waiting. In addition to the head injury, he had abrasions on his face and his right eye was swollen shut. The head injury made him combative and unable to follow commands.

Incredible Trauma Team

"When he arrived at the ER, everybody was ready," Amy says. "We treat every child who comes in as if they were our own. I was comfortable knowing he would be getting the best care. We have the most incredible trauma services, surgeons, and nurses. Our attending physicians are so good at what they do. "

The attending physician that afternoon was pediatric surgeon Julie Long, MD, Chief of Staff.

"Dr. Long is very calming, very thorough, and to the point," Amy says. "She makes you feel safe. I would trust her with the life of my child."

In the pediatric emergency room, Jason underwent intubation to protect his airway from collapsing. Tests revealed he was suffering from a concussion and showed he had no bleeding in the brain, a critical factor in his recovery. And he had no broken bones.

High Quality Care

Julie Long, MD

Julie Long, MD
Chief of Staff
Pediatric Surgeon

"I know from 23 years of nursing experience that the quality of care, the level of staffing, and the experience and training of the staff at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is just phenomenal," says Amy, who joined the team seven years ago. She notes that the staff works with parents to help relieve their anxiety and involve them in their child's care whenever possible, and a parent advocate is always available.

Fortunately for Jason and his family, he stayed in the hospital overnight for observation, went home the next day, and recovered beautifully.

With her firsthand experience from the patient and family perspective, Amy's confidence in her colleagues is stronger than ever.

"The community is fortunate to have a place like this to go when their kids get sick," Amy says. "I would not want my child to go anywhere else. "

To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Physician Referral Service toll-free at (866) JDCH-DOC. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.