A Peaceful Presence in the Emergency Department

September 8, 2019

Fear had washed over Latia Haywood as she rushed her 1-year-old daughter, Meilan, to the Emergency Department at Raritan Bay Medical Center-Perth Amboy. For hours, Meilan had been vomiting with a high fever, and her symptoms were getting worse.

“This was the first time she had gotten sick,” says Latia, who is a patient experience ambassador at Hackensack Meridian Health. “I called into work and said I was bringing my daughter in, then I loaded up the car and rushed there. When I got there, I was shocked to see the Office of Patient Experience (OPE) team outside waiting for me to arrive. They took complete control and told me they had everything covered.”

As Latia ran back from parking her car, Paige Taylor, PCA II, noticed something wasn’t right.

“I’ve never seen Latia run through the ED like that,” Paige explains. “I knew something had to be wrong.”

Fortunately, Paige knew how to calm Latia’s nerves. “I have kids of my own,” she says. “So, I could relate to how scared she was. I took her hand, told her to breathe and assured her that everything was under control.”

Paige sprang into action, joining the medical team in the triage room to help with the care of Meilan, while remaining attentive to Latia.

“One time Paige told me to go take a break,” Latia says. “When I got back to the room, my daughter was smiling and laughing. I thought it was so special for her to take that time to make my daughter smile. I immediately forgot how scared I was. It was amazing.”

Even as Latia and her daughter were being discharged, Paige managed to provide an extra touch of care.

“I made sure to get her a little bottle of apple juice for the trip home,” she says. “I just wanted to make sure they were both OK the entire time.”

Diagnosed with a virus that day, Meilan made a full recovery. But Latia is still incredibly grateful for how Paige and the OPE team cared for both her and her daughter. “This display of compassion that day was phenomenal. I can’t thank the people that helped us enough.”

Tell us about a team member at Hackensack Meridian Health who made all the difference in your care.

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