It’s not just adults who can make a difference in the way a hospital cares for patients. I recently spoke with Jessica Ragland, a member of ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital (TCH) Teen Advisory Council who was willing to share her personal experience as a patient and advocate
Jessica was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curve of the spine, as a 5th grader. In 2014, when she was a freshman in high school, Jessica had surgery at TCH to correct the scoliosis. The surgery involved placing two titanium metal rods in her spine. Jessica spent three days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and over three days on the Pediatric Unit following the surgery. For nearly a week, she received care, both medical and therapeutic, and interacted with many departments during her stay. Jessica recalls having “awesome nurses” but also having some difficulty receiving medications.
Now a junior in high school, Jessica plans to become a music teacher. She remembers being comforted by her mother, who was allowed to sleep in her room on a fold-out couch. For Jessica, there was comfort in knowing her mom was near, and the hospital staff encouraged this arrangement. She brings these personal experiences to the Teen Advisory Council, with her desire to “make sure kids feel comfortable and safe,” as she works to shape Patient and Family Centered Care at TCH.
Opportunities for teens
Jessica isn’t the only teen who has a voice and can influence change. The Teen Advisory Council is currently seeking new members with personal experience of the hospital.
Some current projects include:
- Assisting at the Halloween parade
- Passing out treats to moms and dads at the hospital on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
- Organizing and creating billboards promoting patient and family centered care
- Creating a pamphlet about the Teen Advisory Council.
If you are interested in participating with the Teen Advisory Council or want more information, please email Sherri Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn how families make their voices heard through Patient and Family Centered Care and learn more about the Patient and Family Advisory Council.