unsung heroes

Before Aaron was born, I’d think of the health system and doctors and nurses would come to mind.  And yes, in terms of numbers and influence, both physicians and RNs are a very significant part of health care teams.

But over the past 11 years, I’ve acquired big respect for other health professionals.  Administrators often consider them auxiliary professionals, but I absolutely do not.  These folks are just as essential to health care as their well-known colleagues.

These people have all had an impact on Aaron’s life and our family’s life.  They’ve either come into our homes, or we’ve had appointments or contacts with them in some way.

  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Health Care Aides
  • Dieticians
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Optometrists
  • Opticians
  • Pediatric Dentists
  • Laboratory and Xray Technicians

I’d like to see our language about health expand beyond ‘doctors and nurses’ to include all the professionals on a health team.

Here’s to the Pharmacist who translated my son’s different inhalers to me and avoided a medication mix up.  The Speech Language Pathologist (and the SLP assistants) who runs the amazing Chatter program to teach my son how to be a good friend.  Stephen, the Aaron-friendly Audiologist at our children’s hospital who makes hearing tests fun.  Heidi and Theresa, the OT and PT from Home Care who used to come into our home and who were Aaron’s biggest cheerleaders in those early days.  Our new Social Worker from Family Support for Children with Disabilities, who has been informative and helpful.  LPNs, who are nurses too, and who make a big difference at the bedside to patients and families.  The Dietician who counselled us about Aaron’s diet without shaming or blaming.  Our Pediatric Dentist and the Hygienists and Assistants who made Aaron so comfortable having dental work done in the chair that he doesn’t need dental work under general anaesthetic anymore.   The optometrist who didn’t assume that Aaron couldn’t read, and the optician who patiently fitted Aaron with his hip new glasses.   The lab tech who used a warm cloth on Aaron’s arm before she drew blood.

It really does take a big team to support children with disabilities.  I want to pause and take the time to say thank you.  Sometimes I don’t know your name.  Sometimes we only have contact for a few minutes.  But in those few minutes, you really do make a difference to children and families.

The work you do is often unnoticed, but I’ve noticed.  You are the unsung heroes of the health system.  Let’s all start singing your praises…

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