Ann Feenstra, 31, of Rochester is an Olmsted Medical Center pediatrics medical assistant. She says her three children and fiance make "each day a blessing."
"The Pediatric Department at OMC is the best I have ever worked within the aspect of teamwork and working for each and every patient," she said. "Everyone takes ownership of each patient and in turn, the patients receive excellent care."
Describe your job.
My role consists of, but is not limited to, taking a brief history from the patient. This often means talking to both the "little patient" and the parent. Each is important when collecting accurate information. Assisting with procedures, making phone calls, rooming patients, and sometimes just instilling confidence in a new mom who may feel overwhelmed.
What did it take to get this job?
• Student internship at Olmsted Medical Center.
• Twelve years working at Family Medicine before moving to the Pediatric Department.
Why does your job matter?
When your child is sick or receiving immunizations, it can be very hard for a parent to watch.
Making it as comfortable as I can for both the patient and their parent is what I strive for, as I know first-hand what it is like to be in the other chair as a mother of three.
What is one pediatric illness mystery you'd solve?
RSV (highly contagious Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a breathing passages and lungs infection that can affect lungs, heart and immune system of children with diseases and can be life-threatening for premature babies). Frequent hand washing is key (doctors can give prescriptions for injections for at-risk infants and children).
What is a memorable lesson patients taught you?
Watching the children come in who have life-threatening illnesses, Down’s syndrome, or just healthy kids in for a check-up. They have a sparkle in their eyes so bright and get excited just to talk to you about things.
Children really live for each day and are able to enjoy the little things in life that we as adults take for granted. Being with the kids each day in pediatrics and at home with my own family helps me to remember the little things in life and to be so grateful for each day.
How do you help colleagues?
• Ask questions directly of children about themselves to get a smile of comfort.
• With immunizations, come in organized to limit the time it takes to give shots.
• Step up to the plate for whatever the patient or provider may need.
What is one of best parts of the job?
Working with the children brings me so much job satisfaction. I feel I have a purpose to help take care for them. Whether they come in sick or just for a routine check-up, I leave the day feeling as though I made a difference.
Children are the most amazing thing, and one smile from them makes everything worth it.