11:25 AM

The Nursing Value of Imagination: Finding the Magic in Little Moments

Shelly Litchfield BSN RN

Nursing Value: Imagination

As a nurse on the Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant floor, Shelly Litchfield, BSN, RN, walks parents through some of the toughest times of their children’s lives. She says the little moments, like making friendship bracelets and playing Nerf gun “wars” in the hallway, make her realize how close she gets to patients and families.

“Many times these kids don’t fully know the gravity of the situation they are in, so we try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible,” said Shelly. “It’s during those times that I realize how much they depend on me and trust me.”

Sometimes that trust does not come easily or quickly. But Shelly knows just what to do for each patient. For birthdays, she surprises her patients by decorating their rooms while they are sleeping. For the younger patients who love the nurse badges, Shelly makes them a badge of their own.

 “It is a great distraction when you are trying to get them to sit still for you to take their vitals or do your assessment. It also is really fun for them to see their faces on the badge. Most of them love to parade around the hallways with a stethoscope and listen to everyone’s hearts or take their temperature,” said Shelly.

Oftentimes, patients can have planned admissions, and Shelly is so honored when patients ask if she can be their nurse again.

“We get to make these really special relationships with our kids since they are here for a week or even two months. We show them that not all interactions with a doctor or nurse are scary or end with them being hurt or poked. I always remind them that there will be hard times, but I will be with them through it all.”

To learn more about our incredible nurses at Cook Children's, view the 2022 Nursing Annual Report