Yaw began as a traveling nurse

After two assignments, he decided to stay at Connecticut Children’s because of the 100% dedication to children’s health. After just a little over a year, he’s already in a leadership position and feels empowered to take on new challenges and grow his career. And every day, he feels like he makes an important difference by caring for the mental health of his patients.

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Name: Yaw Agyapong, BSN, RN
Role: Nursing Team Lead, Emergency Department Mental Health Services
Time at Connecticut Children’s: 1.5 years   
Nursing Experience: 11 years

Connecticut Children’s Unique Advantages

What brought you to Connecticut Children’s?

I started a traveling nurse assignment at Connecticut Children’s, and after my second assignment, I just really liked it so much.

What was different about it?

It’s important that we’re 100% dedicated to children in a sense that the whole environment is catered around children, right? So when you walk through our doors, everything is dedicated to children, and it gives that comfort. We see children really sometimes struggle because of their environment. And Connecticut Children’s really does a great job making the environment all about children, and that helps a lot along their healing journey.

Is the Magnet® designation significant?

Working for a Magnet® designated hospital as a nurse, to me, is everything. It really empowers nurses to take on leadership roles and also gives us free reign to do what we do best, which is to give care.

Making a Difference Every Day

What’s the best part of the job for you?

Really just doing what we do for the kids. I have a couple of children myself, so I just like seeing the kids go from a state of anxiousness to being happier, being placed further along their journey. I love the impact that we get to have on children, the fact that we have a little bit more to give children who are not so set in their ways, and we are able to positively affect some of the decisions they may be facing.

Is caring for mental health fulfilling?

Your mental health is at the base of everything — our families, our careers, just everything we do in life. Having that understanding just forces you to have compassion with people. And once you have the compassion, you know in your heart that mental health is where you should be.

Taking Care of Children

You used to work with adults. What’s the difference with children?

The main difference is the parents. You’re dealing with multiple people instead of just one. So you’re caring for your patient, but you have to keep in mind that the parents are also in need of care.

What’s rewarding about caring for children?

Being able to have more of an impact. In nursing, everything is the earlier, the better. And it was apparent to me that if you want to have a bigger impact, you want to work with a younger population.

What would you tell a nurse who may be intimidated about working with children?

Oh, just do it. Just by you being there and being a nurse and having a smile on your face, that changes everything for the children. So just do it. If you’re thinking about it, you really want to do it, come check us out.

Supportive From the Top Down

Would you say you have a lot of support at Connecticut Children’s?

The nurse leadership here, every time you bring up an issue, it’s almost like the world stops and they have to address that issue right away. They always keep in mind what the floor nurses are there for: our patients.

How would you describe the overall culture?

The team culture here is phenomenal. We have all these disciplines coming together on a regular basis and making everything lighthearted for the children. But still performing the job so smoothly and effortlessly. The team culture here really speaks volumes to the important work that we do. You are able to ask anybody anything. From our cleaners to nurses, to doctors, when you ask them a question they will stop what they’re doing and attend to your need right away.

How about the benefits? Anything stand out?

One of the benefits Connecticut Children’s provides that I personally benefit from is a partnership they have with KinderCare child care. It just works out great for everybody. It’s a really good partnership to offset the cost of childcare, which we all know is very expensive.

Room to Grow

Where do you see your career going at Connecticut Children’s?

Being here for thirteen months and already being in a leadership position speaks volumes. There’s a lot of growth, right? I’m empowered to reach for the stars. For me personally, the sky’s the limit. I envision myself growing here at Connecticut Children’s.