Every month, Boston Children’s Hospital honors one of our own—a member of the Boston Children’s family who exemplifies the very best in our commitment to care, research, teaching and community.
Clinicians often, and deservedly, receive many accolades for heroic efforts and saved lives. But just as often, it’s the small efforts and acts of kindness that make a huge difference in the lives of patient families. One Massachusetts family got some first hand experience with that when a normally cautious young daughter badly sprained her ankle on the eve of a last minute trip to Cape Cod and ended up meeting Amanda Burns, PNP, nurse practitioner in Boston Children’s Department of Orthopedics and this month’s Employee of the Month.
Although the young girl was an “add-on” patient, Amanda took the time to make everyone comfortable, explored all of the family’s options and, after a thorough examination, determined that a removable leg brace would help the girl’s ankle heal without preventing her from enjoying family time on the beach.
Amanda went on to discuss ideas for navigating the dunes, managing any discomfort and, just as importantly, reinforced the importance of having a fun vacation. And before they left, Amanda gave them a copy of their daughter’s medical record, a CD of her x-rays and contact information for Boston Children’s to take with them, just in case. “While there may not be anything extraordinary in this vignette,” one of Amanda’s teammates explains, “what is extraordinary is that Amanda provides this level of care to every patient and family, 20 times a day, every day.”
Families on their way to a last minute vacation aren’t the only ones who benefit from Amanda’s thoughtfulness, diligence and dedication. Among her colleagues in Orthopedics, Amanda is known for her willingness to help out wherever and whenever she can. In many of her complex spinal cases, she is the linchpin in communicating between providers and making sure not detail is missed. When emails come through to the entire nurse practitioner group from staff or families, Amanda is usually the first to respond, even if the requests involve time-consuming issues like completing peer-to-peer reviews with insurance companies.
When a fellow nurse practitioner at one of Boston Children’s satellite locations wasn’t able to make it in to her clinic, Amanda volunteered to take public transportation to the satellite to help out. On a different occasion, she not only helped staff the satellite, but also returned to the Longwood campus to help when she discovered its clinic was short-staffed that day.
Most of all, Amanda is approachable. She will often stop what she is doing to help others or answer questions, never once getting frustrated or upset by the interruptions. When it comes to patients and families, she is exactly the same; she will work on the problem until it is resolved. Especially if a young girl’s vacation is at stake.