When Rebecca White was pregnant with her son, Wade, the doctors said that he wouldn’t survive due to a serious medical condition. While Wade miraculously did pull through, he was born with a variety of medical complications and would undergo more than 50 surgeries before the age of 5.
As the mother of a son with special needs, Rebecca quickly became both concerned and frustrated with her son’s health care team as she felt they were not listening to her. She felt it would help if she was a licensed medical professional. Instead of becoming discouraged, Rebecca made the decision to go to nursing school, and became an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of her son’s hospital. The experience of becoming a nurse not only helped Rebecca to communicate more effectively with her son’s doctors; it also allowed her to connect with hospital executives and help them relate the data and patient outcomes to the actual patient experience. This started by her writing to the hospital CEO and inviting him to shadow her at the bedside of her patients. To date, more than 40 hospital executives have accompanied Rebecca as she cares for patients.
By advocating for her son, becoming a nurse, and helping healthcare administrators to better understand patient and family issues, Rebecca’s story speaks to the PVI principles of Empowerment and Respect.
Watch Rebecca’s Story here to learn more about the three languages of the hospital – the “mad mom”, the “medical”, and the “business”, and how they must be integrated into one agenda one to benefit the patient.