Making difficult situations more bearable
This week is Patient Experience Week, and here’s why we celebrate it.
For families like the Michalakis family, whose daughter Katerina was diagnosed with myeloid sarcoma last year, our hospitals become “a home away from home”.
Katerina, under the care of Dr Antoinette Anazodo, has had eight rounds of chemotherapy at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, since June last year. She has spent many days and long nights as an inpatient there, so staff and their interactions with families and patients are of paramount importance.
Debbie Michalakis, Katerina’s mum, speaks highly of the staff at the Hospital and says, "It’s amazing how the staff have managed to make something good out of a bad situation."
"The nurses go out of their way to make it a positive experience. Even when we are in a different ward they come and find us to say hello."
"We have a wonderful rapport with the nurses. They make a difficult situation a little bit more bearable. They provide us with a lot of comfort."
Ten-year old Callan Flaherty, has a similar story. He’s been in and out of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for more than eight years, and his mother Lisa says, “When you go through a health journey it can often be isolating but coming to the hospital is like coming home to your family—they understand what you have been through.”
Patient Experience Week is celebrated internationally to acknowledge how hospital staff can work together to make difficult journeys—like Katerina’s and Callan’s—more bearable.