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St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital nurse talks helping kids in their time of need

St. Mary's
St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital nurse Jessy Bob (Photo courtesy of Jessy Bob)

Jessy Bob has spent 26 years working as a nurse, including each of the last 18 at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital. However, her passion for nursing dates all the way back to her own childhood.

Bob’s aunt was a nun from a relatively poor Catholic community. When Bob was young, her aunt told her about the importance of nurses to other people. According to Bob, her aunt told her that nurses were angels on missions to help the sick and disabled.

“My aunt’s words inspired me and drove me to become someone capable of saving lives,” Bob said. “We [nurses] dedicate much of our lives to help those who are struggling to live and survive.”

Bob feels that nurses often have a different approach to kids as patients than adults. She feels that since kids have yet to develop a mature mindset, they are more prone to acting out irrationally. However, she stresses that it’s a nurse’s job to remain patient and try to accommodate patients’ behavior while also helping to provide them with the best treatment possible.

She also said kids are more reluctant to voice their needs than adults. Nurses need to be able to build trust between them and the patients in order to make them more comfortable opening up and asking for help. “Such bond is precious and fragile and requires great care,” Bob said.

Working in St. Mary’s during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was very challenging for Bob and the rest of the staff. For Bob, remaining focused and hopeful was very difficult during this time.

With so many patients being wheeled in at an alarming rate, the environment felt chaotic and overwhelming for her. However, she remained focused on doing her job and helping the patients, pushing herself to remain calm and focused. Additionally, it was tough to see families being unable to see their loved ones since visits were limited to suppress the spread of the infection.

“The difficulty of losing a patient to the virus was never easy,” Bob said. “However, I remained hopeful and believed we’d be able to find a way to overcome the struggle. The medical staff ensured every family each patient was provided the best treatment and care possible.”

While the height of the pandemic certainly contained some difficult memories, Bob still has some heartwarming memories from her experience as a nurse. One case involved a resident who was discharged after multiple years of hospitalization. The patient later reached out to her to send a heartfelt congratulatory message after Bob was named a DAISY Award winner.

“I was absolutely surprised and felt touched,” Bob said. “She remembered my services and I became someone special to her. Seeing my patients undergo a remarkable recovery warms my heart.”

Whenever she’s going through a difficult day at work, Bob pushes through by thinking about the well-being of the children at St. Mary’s. She knows their needs outweigh any concerns she may have.

“Seeing [the kids] smile and happy fuels my energy and motivates me to work hard,” Bob said. “St. Mary’s is an honorable place to work at and the experiences and memories I have gathered here will be with me forever. The love, care and support I’m receiving from my administration and each staff member has been absolutely amazing.”

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