Nurse clinician Alyse Hicks sees many of the same patients every week at Children’s of Alabama, and that’s actually one of her favorite aspects of the job.

Alyse works in the infusion clinic, an outpatient clinic at Children’s that administers infusion therapy for patients presenting various illnesses. Some patients visit the clinic weekly while others visit biweekly or once a month. “We get the opportunity to develop strong relationships with them because we see them so often,” she said.  “I like having the ability to create a bond with patients because I get to know them and they get to know me.”

Because each infusion can take anywhere from 30 minutes to eight hours, the opportunity to get to know the kids who  come in helps Alyse make them feel more comfortable. “They come in to a new environment not knowing what to expect, so they are, of course, hesitant about it and perhaps even scared,” she said.  “Building that nurse/patient relationship helps put them at ease.”

Alyse started her career at Children’s about six years ago, working as an RN on 5 Dearth. Her relationship with the hospital, however, started years earlier during nursing school, when she did clinical rotations at the hospital. “It didn’t take me long in nursing school to see that I wanted to work with kids,” she said.  “I like getting to connect with them and help them, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to do that at Children’s.”

About three years ago, Alyse moved to the infusion clinic—a move that required a different skill set than she was used to. “There’s a lot of on-the-job training doing infusions, but I’ve really enjoyed that challenge of adapting to it and doing it,” she said.  “Part of what makes that challenge great is having such a great team around me. Everyone on our team has such a strong work ethic and is quick to help and take care of each other. It makes for a great working environment, and it really helps you be the best advocate possible for your patients.”

Being the best advocate possible for patients means going above and beyond providing excellent patient care. It also means doing whatever is needed to help them get through the day, whether that means Alyse is doing a song or dance to make the kids smile, or simply sitting and chatting to distract them. “Children’s is so passionate about health and wellness that it really motivates you to be the very best you can be for your patients,” Alyse said.  “Children’s definitely lives up to its mission of providing quality patient care, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”