Delaney O’Brien, RN, is a nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit who is proud to work with a team from The Heart Center at Children’s Medical Center that is one of the best in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.
Delaney came to Children’s after nursing school at Texas Women’s University and has worked at the hospital for nearly nine years. Read about her passion to care for critically ill children and their families.
Q: What made you want to work at Children’s, and why the Cardiovascular ICU?
DO: I come from a very large extended family, and I always knew that I wanted to work with children. I was selected for an externship in the CVICU while I was still in nursing school, and I have never looked back. My patients and my co-workers continue to inspire me. There is no better satisfaction than seeing one of my patients go from being hooked up to a heart/lung bypass machine to scoring a goal on the soccer field.
Q: What diagnoses do you treat?
DO: In the CVICU, we treat children of all ages with heart disease, from birth through adulthood in some cases. These children often require very complex heart surgeries and heart transplants. I am fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team in a variety of roles in the unit from bedside nurse to preceptor to charge nurse.
Q: Why did you pursue nursing?
DO: I have always had the desire to care for others, and I believe that nursing is a very hands-on way to care for both patients and their families.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
DO: It is hard seeing families endure extreme sadness and grief at times. This is an emotional job, and I find myself spending time celebrating life with some families, as well as mourning with others. Having personally experienced the emotional roller coaster of watching my own child fight for her life at a very young age, I never forget the powerful impact a moment of kindness or empathy can have on a family.
Q: What are you proudest of regarding your work in this top-ranked specialty?
DO: I am proud to be a member of a team in The Heart Center at Children’s that provides nationally recognized cardiovascular care to such critically ill children. I am proud when I see a child walk out of the hospital with a smile on his or her face after spending weeks to months with us. I am proud when the infants and families who I have cared for in the past come to visit as toddlers and school-age children, and when the teenagers return as adults with children and careers of their own.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
DO: I love knowing that at the end of the day, no matter how stressful of a day I have had, I have made a difference in the life of at least one child.