The patient is the most important person at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston and is always at the center of everything we do. Throughout our many years of providing exceptional specialty pediatric care, whether in the acute phase of a burn injury or the twentieth admission for scar rehabilitation, the cornerstones of our success have been our multidisciplinary team effort and partnership with the child and parent/guardian. From morning bedside rounds with all disciplines represented to weekly planning meetings and follow-up calls, our care team works collaboratively, professionally and passionately together to care for the children entrusted to our care.
Our nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, educators, clinical specialists, physicians and students enjoy a rich and highly desirable practice environment. Care is continuously improved through staff education, the relationships that staff have with the patient and family, collaboration within the interdisciplinary team, staff participation in care related committees, research findings, and evaluation of care through performance improvement activities. Our patient care services leaders are hands-on, visible and exceptional leaders supporting their staff to provide the very best possible care.
The Boston Shriners Hospital practices family-centered care that embraces the whole family. Parents and caregivers are brought into the care team from the beginning and have resources available to them ranging from social and psychological services to support groups and patient care education. We strive to support families in their natural caregiving roles, by building upon their unique strengths, recognizing their individuality and respecting their different methods of coping. The collaboration and expertise of the staff with patients and families enables the team to devise a treatment plan that will provide optimal healing and recovery. Outcomes are maximized as patients receive most, if not all, services right here at the Boston Shriners Hospital.
Nurse care managers and social workers serve as the main contacts for patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children. Care managers assist with any questions related to appointments, future admissions or general needs patients may have. The care managers will set up rehabilitation and surgical admissions, arrange referrals to health care agencies in the patient’s hometown, assist in care planning, coordinate discharge and related needs, and provide support for transition back to home, school and community. Our social workers provide ongoing emotional support throughout the treatment plan as well as work with our families to assist in accessing resources.
Nursing at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston is committed to excellence in every interaction with each patient and family. Throughout the last 50 years, high quality nursing care has contributed to the Boston Shriners Hospital's reputation as a leader in pediatric burns and reconstructive surgery. When caring for patients in the inpatient, outpatient or perioperative setting — safe, compassionate family-centered care is our top priority. Low nurse-to-patient ratios allow for pediatric nursing care that meets the individualized medical and emotional needs of each patient and family.
Nurses at the Boston Shriners Hospital love what they do and strive to continually uphold the high standards that have defined our care. With over one-third of our nurses holding a specialty certification, advancing and maintaining knowledge in various areas of expertise is highly valued. Ongoing quality improvement initiatives and continuing education opportunities for nursing staff aim to ensure practice that is evidence based and current. In addition to providing expert care at the bedside, Shriners Hospital nurses share their knowledge by participating in research, prevention and international outreach activities.
The acute care unit is a 12-bed unit which provides comprehensive critical and acute care to patients between the ages of 0–18 years of age. Using the Synergy Model of Care, the unit and its staff provide patient/family-centered care to those experiencing illness such as burn injury, inhalation injury, skin disorders and post-operative care for major reconstructive and orthopaedic procedures. The care encompasses the use of evidence-based practice and its goals remain intuitive towards future developments of care, patient/family-centered care and professional staff development.
The surgical specialty unit is an 18-bed unit which provides comprehensive, high-quality nursing care for the plastic reconstructive, orthopaedic, small acute burn, and acute rehabilitative inpatient population from infancy to 21 years of age. Using the Synergy Model of Care, the unit and its staff provide patient/family-centered care to those experiencing scar contractures, tissue deformity, cleft lip and palate, congenital anomalies, acute burn rehabilitation and orthopaedic conditions. The care encompasses the use of evidence based practice and its goals remain intuitive towards future developments of care, patient/family centered care and professional staff development.
The outpatient department serves as the hub of hospital activity with numerous clinics housed within the department. Services include an outpatient burn evaluation and treatment clinic, reconstructive and plastic surgery clinic, cleft lip and palate and oral maxillo-facial clinic and orthopaedic clinic. In addition, patients receive pre-operative testing for scheduled surgical procedures and are admitted through the outpatient department.
Physical therapy is an important component of care. Physical therapy helps children improve their level of function so they can optimize their independence. Each patient’s program is tailored to his or her individual needs and developmental abilities. Family involvement is highly encouraged and crucial. Physical therapy services may include teaching safe methods of transporting/transferring patients after surgery; instruction about appropriate exercises to increase strength and mobility, including walking, adaptive activities and training to use an assistive device, brace, prosthesis or pressure therapy.
Occupational therapy helps children prepare for the transition away from the hospital by focusing on improving daily functional skills. Occupational therapy focuses on all the things one does with the hands, such as dressing, grooming, bathing and eating.
Recreation therapy is designed to help patients acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for independent leisure/activity, adjustment in the community, decision making and appropriate use of free time to promote a more positive leisure lifestyle. The recreation therapist provides leisure education that is age and/or developmentally appropriate, and works with children in both individual and group settings to build these new skills. Services may include introduction and exploration of all types of leisure activities, assessments and referrals, horticulture therapy, arts and crafts, community reintegration and community reintegration activities such as rock climbing or ice skating.
Child life therapy is available to reduce the stresses associated with staying in the hospital and to teach patients coping skills through offering opportunities to play, learn and interact with others in an emotionally and socially safe environment. Play experiences help children express fears and misconceptions of hospitalization and medical procedures. Services include procedural support, pain management techniques, pre-op teaching prior to surgery, group activities and education about upcoming procedures/hospital visits.
Music therapists evaluate each patient’s needs and develop an individual treatment plan. Patients can be treated throughout their episode of care, exposing them to the healing impact of music therapy. Focused patient treatment plans assist with pain management, anxiety management and reduction in trauma symptoms, as well as body image, improving motor skills and many quality of life issues.
A certified garment specialist is available two afternoons per week for custom pressure therapy consultation and measurement when prescribed by a Shriners Hospital physician for scar and pressure management.
Speech-language pathology services are available for evaluation and treatment of patients referred by a Shriners Hospitals for Children physician for speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders.
Coordination of orthotic and prosthetic services is available when referred by a Shriners Hospital physician.
Nutritionists play a vital role in the recovery of burn and orthopaedic patients, as diet is crucial to the healing process. Patients who have incurred burns over large areas of their body often enter into what is known as a hypermetabolic state in which the body begins to break down its own muscle to get protein needed to heal wounds. If not treated properly, a child can quickly lose a great deal of weight and become malnourished. To successfully treat and address the nutritional needs of a burn injury patient, the nutritionists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston use formulas to calculate and adjust how many calories and how much protein a patient requires based on individual characteristics such as weight, age and the extent of the burn. Specialized nutrition or nutrition supplements are often needed to provide children what they need to heal and fight off infections.
At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, the nutritionists also provide measurements of bone density and nutritional status for orthopaedic patients. Because of their condition, many of them need vitamin and mineral supplementation to strengthen their bones to prevent fractures and to grow properly. In addition, nutrition counseling to maintain a healthy weight and energy balance is also provided.
Psychiatry and psychological services are a component of the comprehensive treatment plan for both our inpatients and outpatients. Our psychiatrists and psychologists collaborate with the treatment team on all major decisions affecting our patient’s mental and medical health.
A corrective make-up clinic is held weekly for Shriners Hospitals for Children patients referred to this program.