Touched to My Heart That I Was Able to Help

Most of my bedside experience was in the Neonatal ICU. Probably two years into my rotation in there, I was taking care of a 24-weeker – a baby so tiny she fit in the palm of my hand. Her parents were from a Latin country, it might have been Guatemala. 

The mom spoke no English whatsoever and the dad spoke just a couple of English words, but I was able to communicate with them because I’m bilingual; my mom is Hispanic.

When it became evident that the baby wasn’t going to make it, the doctor asked if I would translate his communication with the parents. I was rusty with medical terminology and concerned about my ability to say the right thing.


I mustered the courage, and we went into what we called the quiet room with the dad. The mom was still in her bed because she was critical as well. 

The doctor explained that the baby was not going to make it, and we were going to have to pull support with their consent. It was difficult to translate those words into Spanish, but the dad pretty much knew what I was saying. He nodded his head a lot. When we went back to the baby’s bedside he said, “Thank you very much.” I could tell that he and his wife were touched that somebody had taken the time to translate the information for them, to let them make the right decision for their baby.

I always think back to that experience, because I felt like I had accomplished something. I felt touched to my heart that I was able to help, above and beyond what I normally would do. 


It’s a scary situation when you see all these tubes, wires, and things coming out of a baby, and it’s a very hard situation to be in no matter how many times you do it.

Sandy Jenkins Senior Clinical Executive at Vocera

When the baby died, we got the chaplain to pray with the family in Spanish. We gave the couple an impression of the baby’s footprints, photo, and a card from the team so they would have a remembrance of their baby. I don’t remember if the baby had enough hair to give the parents a lock of it.

As a neonatal nurse, I was always asked, “When will my baby go home?” We always gave parents the ballpark of, “Depending on the baby’s progression, it can be 30 days plus or minus from your original due date.” This timeframe at least gave parents a sense of how much time they’d have to wait to take their baby home. I never wanted to have to tell parents, “I’m sorry, you were planning for your baby to be well in nine months, and here I’m telling you that I’m sorry she’s not going to make it.” 

It’s a scary situation when you see all these tubes, wires, and things coming out of a baby, and it’s a very hard situation to be in no matter how many times you do it.

Author
Sandy Jenkins
Author credentials
RN, BSN, MBA
Author Bio
Senior Clinical Executive at Vocera, Supporting Clients in Canada
Author Image
Sandy Jenkins
Image frame
lt-gold
Story ID
Sandy-Jenkins

Most of my bedside experience was in the Neonatal ICU. Probably two years into my rotation in there, I was taking care of a 24-weeker – a baby so tiny she fit in the palm of my hand. Her parents were from a Latin country, it might have been Guatemala. 

The mom spoke no English whatsoever and the dad spoke just a couple of English words, but I was able to communicate with them because I’m bilingual; my mom is Hispanic.

When it became evident that the baby wasn’t going to make it, the doctor asked if I would translate his communication with the parents. I was rusty with medical terminology and concerned about my ability to say the right thing.


I mustered the courage, and we went into what we called the quiet room with the dad. The mom was still in her bed because she was critical as well. 

The doctor explained that the baby was not going to make it, and we were going to have to pull support with their consent. It was difficult to translate those words into Spanish, but the dad pretty much knew what I was saying. He nodded his head a lot. When we went back to the baby’s bedside he said, “Thank you very much.” I could tell that he and his wife were touched that somebody had taken the time to translate the information for them, to let them make the right decision for their baby.

I always think back to that experience, because I felt like I had accomplished something. I felt touched to my heart that I was able to help, above and beyond what I normally would do. 


It’s a scary situation when you see all these tubes, wires, and things coming out of a baby, and it’s a very hard situation to be in no matter how many times you do it.

Sandy Jenkins Senior Clinical Executive at Vocera

When the baby died, we got the chaplain to pray with the family in Spanish. We gave the couple an impression of the baby’s footprints, photo, and a card from the team so they would have a remembrance of their baby. I don’t remember if the baby had enough hair to give the parents a lock of it.

As a neonatal nurse, I was always asked, “When will my baby go home?” We always gave parents the ballpark of, “Depending on the baby’s progression, it can be 30 days plus or minus from your original due date.” This timeframe at least gave parents a sense of how much time they’d have to wait to take their baby home. I never wanted to have to tell parents, “I’m sorry, you were planning for your baby to be well in nine months, and here I’m telling you that I’m sorry she’s not going to make it.” 

It’s a scary situation when you see all these tubes, wires, and things coming out of a baby, and it’s a very hard situation to be in no matter how many times you do it.

Get Started
Who We Are

Vocera empowers people in mission-critical environments to instantly connect via secure, mobile, integrated and intelligent communication solutions.

The Vocera Vision
 
How To Buy
Contact Vocera

Contact a sales specialist about Vocera solutions

 
Phone
1(888)-9VOCERA
 
 
Contact Us Vocera Logo
Tech Support (800)473-3971 support@vocera.com
Sales 1(888)-9VOCERA salesweb@vocera.com