"EEG Tech Turns Bad Day Around"
Lisa B. was understandably nervous when she arrived at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center with her 10-month-old daughter, Addison, who was scheduled for an EEG. Fortunately for Lisa, Sheena Taylor would be her daughter’s EEG Technician that day and would go out of her way to ease Lisa’s anxiety.
“Addison had begun to twitch, sometimes two or three times a day,” Lisa said. “Her pediatrician recommended we have an EEG. The day of Addison’s appointment, my husband was not able to accompany me to the hospital. Traffic was bad, and I arrived at 8:40 a.m. for her 8:45 appointment. I mistakenly assumed that since I had pre-registered over the phone I should go straight to the EEG Lab. The EEG tech told me I was in the wrong place. Of course, I’d parked about two miles away from where I needed to be, and here I was lugging my daughter, her car seat, a diaper bag and my giant mom purse. I was sweating, I was stressed, I was frustrated, and I had no idea how to get to where I needed to go. I was so impressed when Sheena offered to go with me to finish registering.”
Not only did Sheena accompany her, she carried Addison and then sat with the two of them while they waited and then registered.
“I couldn’t believe she stayed and talked to me and played with Addison for 20 minutes while we waited and then while I completed paperwork,” Lisa said. “I could tell right away she is the type of person babies are drawn to. Addison was completely comfortable with her.”
Sheena also spoke very openly with Lisa about her own child’s healthcare experiences.
“She told me her son had just said his first word,” Lisa said. “I, of course, said “Awwwww,” and she said it was such an achievement even though her son is 8 years old. He has a very rare disease, and his life consists of sleeping, eating and seizing. She said that her son has had many EEGs over the years, and she actually became an EEG technician because she wanted to learn more about her son's disease and better understand what he goes through.”
Lisa found reassurance in Sheena’s sharing her own story.
“The way she described her son and his life – it just made me feel that even if something did turn out to be wrong with Addison, we would be able to deal with it – it would be OK. When we completed the registration process, Sheena carried Addison back to the EEG lab for me. She explained the whole process and even let me know that she could attach the electrodes with or without glue but would try to do it without because the glue smells bad and can hurt when it's pulled off. The whole process took 20 minutes, and Addison didn't start getting anxious until the very end, so we were able to do it without glue. Addison must have spit her pacifier out 10 times only to whine to get it back. It's a game for her. Sheena got up all 10 times and cleaned it off for her. She even picked up on the fact that I called Addison ‘Pumpkin’ and called her that too.”
Lisa said these personal touches really made her feel as if she were spending the morning not with a medical professional whose job it was to care for her and her daughter, but with a good friend.
“By the end, we were just chatting and laughing together, and I had completely relaxed,” Lisa said. “When we were all done, she helped me pack up all of Addison's things and even walked me all the way back to my car holding Addison. Before she had a chance to walk away, I gave her a big hug and told her she was amazing. She made what could have been a terrible experience much easier.”
A week later, Lisa received good news from Addison’s pediatrician – her EEG was normal, and she was going to be fine.
“Looking back, I feel that nothing I can possibly say does Sheena justice,” Lisa said. “Whatever you get from my description of her, multiply it by 10. She was so concerned with both my comfort and Addison’s. She helped me relax during what otherwise would have been a very stressful experience. When the time came to say goodbye, I actually got choked up – I thought, ‘Wow, that was the nicest person ever, at the time I needed it most.’ I cried on the way home – I felt so overwhelmed by her kindness. When I got home, I just sat in the car for a few minutes and prayed. I really felt like she was an angel.”
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