Patient Story: Going the Extra Mile in the ED

Christine Bickford

Christine Bickford’s favorite quote from Dumbledore (the wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series) is “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” 

As an Emergency Department (ED) tech for two years and a LNA for nine years, Bickford lives by these words — and it shows throughout her work in APD’s ED.

A child had just thrown up all over herself and her mother rang the call bell looking for tissues. “Mom wanted to clean her up the best she could before they went back out in the cold as she forgot to pack a spare outfit. I found some pediatric scrubs for her to wear while she was here to prevent any more vomit on her only clothes,” Christine said.

As a mom of two boys, Christine knew how traumatic throwing up is for a child and how uncomfortable it is, for any age, to wear soiled clothes. She decided to drive home — she lives two minutes from APD — and grab a few pairs of winter PJs that her sons outgrew.

“Upon returning, I told her I didn’t feel right sending them back out in the cold with wet clothes. I know these are boy’s jammies but they should fit and will be warm,” Christine said. “The mom looked like she was going to cry and asked, ‘You really just went and got them? Why would you do that for me?’ She was super appreciative and excited to show her daughter. I told her this is just who I am; I have a big heart and am always happy to help when I can.”

“Christine continually goes above and beyond to ensure patients are comfortable,” said Kristie Foster, RN, BSN, manager/clinical educator in the Emergency Department at APD. “Christine gets innovative and even gives her own personal items for patients in need. Her kindness and compassion goes above and beyond the call of duty and for that we are so grateful.”

“My dad recently passed away after battling cancer. Now my mom is battling metastatic bone cancer. I admire the providers who treat them as more than just a number,” Christine said. “I will always go the extra mile when I can. What I love about working in the ED is, even on those dark days, WE get to be the light for someone.”

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Related article: Patient Story: Personal Care at the Emergency Department