Meet Emma: A Journey from the Adult Surgery Unit to the Pediatric ICU Posted on March 14, 2022 Emma got her start working in adult healthcare, but always knew she wanted to work with children. Now a nurse in the Pediatric ICU, Emma knows firsthand the incredible fulfillment and inspiration that comes with a career in pediatrics. Interested in a nursing career at Connecticut Children’s? Join us in our mission to improve the physical and emotional health of children. Apply Today Name: Emma Krogman Role: Nurse, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Time at Connecticut Children’s: 7 months Previous Nursing Experience: 3+ years in an adult surgical unit What are the advantages of working in Connecticut’s only health system dedicated to children? It’s a whole different atmosphere. At Connecticut Children’s we take inspiration from kids’ wild imaginations and involve that in our care – with the strides we make imagining and coming up with new treatments, our focus on pediatrics, and how we care for kids. Everything is geared towards children. We have toys in the rooms. Everything’s bright colors. It’s a fun place to work and a fun place to be. WORKING WITH KIDS What’s the most rewarding part of being a pediatric nurse? Working with kids of all different ages. They’re all so incredibly resilient. They bounce back from things that would make an adult struggle. And it’s great to be able to interact with patients and their families and to make them more comfortable. It’s a scary place and if you can make it a little bit more fun, to make a kid smile, it’s so rewarding. What motivated you to transition from adult medicine to pediatrics? I’ve always loved working with kids. Even while I was in school, people would tell me, “Oh, are you gonna be a Pediatric nurse?” But it’s a big responsibility and I didn’t feel ready coming right out of school. So I started with adult Med-Surg to get more nursing experience and figure out what kind of nurse I was. What advice would you give a nurse considering a move to pediatrics? It can be scary at times and it’s okay to feel nervous. Kids are a little more fragile in certain ways, so it’s good to be a little bit nervous. And once you start working and getting involved with the kids, you forget about the scary parts and focus on the rewarding aspects. LIFE IN THE PICU What’s it like working in the PICU? The variety of experiences available is unparalleled. You can treat many different illnesses and see new things all the time. I’m still learning something new, every day. A lot of people think that the PICU is a sad place to work – and at times it can be challenging. Yes, we’re dealing with critically ill kids, but we focus on the positive – the small strides that they’re making rather than the huge hurdles and keep uplifting the patients and parents. Treating a critically ill child and seeing them recover, transition from our acute care, and eventually go home is an amazing thing to see. If anything, I would say it’s more of an optimistic place to work. What is your most memorable experience so far? A two-year-old was in the PICU for just a short time and didn’t like anybody in her room. She was really scared of me assessing her or doing anything with her at first. But I found out through her dad that playing “doctors” was her favorite game at home, so I got her own stethoscope and flashlight. Eventually she got to the point where she was asking anybody who came into her room to listen to her heart and to play doctor. It was a great experience to see her love of what we were doing and not be afraid of us anymore. CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S CULTURE How would you describe the culture here at Connecticut Children’s? In three words: fun, innovative, team oriented. In every aspect of treatment and across every different role, we work together to provide the best care possible for families and children. It feels like a family. What’s special about nursing at Connecticut Children’s? Nurses at Connecticut Children’s are leaders. We take control of how patients are treated, lead rounds, raise questions and concerns with doctors, and help direct patient care. We’re one of only 7% of hospitals in the country to achieve Magnet Designation, which really speaks for itself. Our leadership works hard to care for nurses and staff and make sure everybody feels appreciated, respected, and recognized. BENEFITS & CAREER GROWTH Best perk or benefit? My work / life balance. We have a lot of flexibility with our schedules, so I can strike the balance that works best for me. Unlike my previous experiences, I’m able to leave work here at work. So I can relax and unwind and hang out with my dog when I’m at home. And focus on work when I’m here. How does Connecticut Children’s support career growth? We have many different opportunities for growth, from internal promotions to going back to school for your master’s degree to internal training, whether for your current role or one you aspire to. How do you envision your future at Connecticut Children’s? I see myself growing more confident in my role as a bedside PICU nurse. There’s so much more I can learn and I just want to become the best pediatric nurse I can be.