Strong Kids

For Nurses on 8 South, the Journey to Healing Starts with a Smile

Aug. 28, 2018

Nyckiyah Mulkey RNThe first time Nyckiyah Mulkey R.N. meets a new patient on 8 South — which serves as the pediatric orthopaedics inpatient ward, among other things — she often finds that there is more to be addressed than meets the eye. Over the course of her five months on the job, she’s found that a lot of children are fearful and overwhelmed during their stay. So she makes it her ultimate goal to not only heal them, but also to put a smile on their faces.

An 18-bed pediatric medicine unit, 8 South primarily cares for orthopedic and orthopedic trauma patients. Many patients recovering from hip, knee and spinal surgeries spend their time on the unit, which also cares for children with endocrine disorders, especially newly diagnosed diabetics. Adolescents with eating disorders and other psychological diseases are also seen here. 

What they share is that they’ve all recently gone through one of the most trying experiences in their young lives. Here, they attempt to take their first steps on the road to recovery. 

“In pediatrics, it’s important to recognize that kids are being pulled away from the ability to lead normal lives. They need a lot of emotional support before they can get back on their feet,” said Mulkey. “What I love most is seeing how each patient transitions from admission to discharge. It’s amazing to be a part of the process and watch children become themselves again while taking real steps toward recovery.” 

This means Mulkey and the other nurses do much more than just administering medicine or treatment. Acting as a pillar of emotional support for a child in a time of distress is essential to helping them keep their morale up and increases the chances of a full recovery. 

“It’s all about making it the best possible experience for everyone involved,” says Denise Clough, Senior Nurse Manager of 8 South. “We strive to support our patients and their families in every way that we can in hopes to see many smiles along the way!”