Saturday, August 24, 2013

Meet the Staff: Li Nai Ru

Our next "Meet the Staff" post features Li Nai Ru. We went to the hospital with her to learn more about what she does for Little Flower.

1. What is your job at Little Flower, and what do you do for your job?
 I am a medical liaison. My job is to bring children to the hospital when they need medical treatment or surgery. I basically play the role of the parent - asking questions and gathering as much information as possible.  In some cases the diagnosis is simple and the treatment is straightforward - like for a baby with cleft lip or palate.  Other times we are faced with a rare birth defect or complicated medical problem with several possibilities for treatment.    At those times I'll need to find out what the options are so the entire Little Flower medical team can discuss and make the best decisions.  If a child needs hospitalization, I am responsible for communicating with the doctors during the child's hospital stay, and also for reporting back to the Little Flower medical team and individual project managers with any updates about the child.

2. What is a typical work day like for you?
In the morning, I go to the train station to pick up children that have been sent from their orphanages, often taking them directly to the hospital. Babies in need of emergency surgery will be hospitalized that day.  Some days I'll go into the city with children already in our projects who need to see a doctor or be admitted.  Each baby is accompanied during their hospital stay by a Little Flower nanny, so I am also responsible for making sure each nanny has the supplies she needs (formula, clothing, diapers) to care for the baby in the hospital.

If a nanny needs a break from her hospital duty shift (hospital nannies work 24/7) then I will bring a replacement to cover for her so she can rest.

Because I am responsible for many babies admitted to different hospitals across this large city, I cannot visit each one every day.  So if there is a change to a baby's condition the doctors will call me to give an update.  When the sending orphanages want an update on a child's medical situation they will call me, so I also act as liaison between Little Flower and our cooperating orphanages.

3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Through our help, a child's condition is helped or completely cured. If we can help children in a timely manner after surgery, they can grow to live a nearly normal life can or can take care of themselves.

4. What is one of the difficult parts of your job?
Sometimes a baby needs emergency hospitalization, but there are no available hospital beds.  This often happens in the summer, when the pediatric wards are especially busy due to the school holiday.  If a hospital has no beds I might have to try another hospital, delay the surgery, or see if there is a doctor who might try to make an exception for us.

5. Who was the baby we visited in the hospital today?

6. Why was she in the hospital?
Earlier this year, we found that she had started to enter puberty. We took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with hypothalamic hamartoma . She was admitted for surgery to remove this tumor in her brain.

7. You spoke a bit with the doctors and nurses; what did you talk about?
I asked the doctor about Fen; is a slight fever a normal reaction after surgery, and will her symptoms really go away after the surgery? I also asked when they think she could be discharged from the hospital.

We have another child in the ICU, Meng Yi; I asked about her condition. Would they do her hydrocephalus shunt surgery that day?

Also, I asked how the nannies who were caring for our children in the hospital were doing in terms of their care-giving. The nurses could give the nannies some directions on how to further care for our children and save us some hospital fees as a result. Then I asked about getting a bed in the hospital for another one of our babies, Xuan, who also needed surgery.


Little Flower is grateful to Li Nai Ru for accepting this difficult and exhausting job.  Because of her hard work and dedication many little lives have been changed

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