Health Care Heroes: Cristine Frantz, family liaison


For Cristine Frantz, a need to pay it ahead is what motivates her.

As a household liaison on the Emergency Division at WellSpan York Hospital, Frantz’s job is to assist households whereas their family members are within the hospital.

At one time, she suffered together with her personal medical points and was out and in of the hospital. She knew this took a toll on her husband and three sons.

“I noticed what my household went via and I at all times thought if I may also help a household get via what could possibly be the toughest time of their lives, I might seize the chance,” Frantz stated.

And, that chance arose two years in the past, when she turned a part of the staff at WellSpan York Hospital. As a household liaison, she advocates for the households to assist them really feel knowledgeable, valued and he or she additionally helps them take care of traumatic conditions.

“Each affected person and household that walks via that ED is handled with the utmost respect and a part of my job is ensuring they know they don’t seem to be alone,” she stated.

Frantz was not too long ago honored as a healthcare hero by the Central Penn Enterprise Journal. Chosen within the “Well being Care Specialties Hero” class, she might be honored later this month in a digital ceremony.

Being nominated a healthcare hero: “I really feel so honored to be representing WellSpan and the liaison staff,” she stated. “I take a look at everybody who works within the hospital setting as a ‘healthcare hero.’ It takes plenty of compassion and understanding to get via a day. Not solely with sufferers and households, however with one another. You will need to let your co-workers understand how essential they’re and the way a lot they’re appreciated for all they do.”

Highlights of your job: Not solely does Frantz greet sufferers and their households, however she additionally enforces the visitation coverage and deescalates conditions after they come up.

“Concern is a pure response of not figuring out and we’re there to minimize these fears and supply consolation in any method potential,” she defined. “It’s so essential to let the household and affected person know they’re cared about and we solely have their greatest pursuits at coronary heart.”

Whether or not it’s holding a hand or hugging a member of the family, she additionally grieves with these households throughout the worst instances of their lives.

“If a affected person passes, we stick with the household because the physician delivers the information,” she stated. “We assist them via the shock and devastation they’re feeling at that time.”

She finds sources for households who might have a chaplain or assist with bereavement and counseling. And, she additionally serves on the hospital’s trauma staff.

“If a affected person is available in and we’ve no id or household info, it’s our job to search out out who they’re and find household,” she stated. “There have been many instances the place this has occurred and contacting the household is finished with the utmost discretion and compassion. When the household does arrive, we make certain communication with the doctor is a high precedence. It’s exhausting not having solutions and for households, a brief time period of not figuring out can seem to be an eternity.”

Recommendation for these getting into your subject: “You may’t take issues personally. You’re there to assist in some very tragic conditions, so keep robust and use your instincts on what’s one of the simplest ways to deal with every scenario. There may be plenty of self-satisfaction simply figuring out you have been there for somebody in a time of want.”

Working throughout the pandemic: Throughout the pandemic when no guests have been permitted within the hospital, Frantz typically communicated by cellphone to offer updates to households. Sufferers have been there alone so she typically assured them that that they have been in nice fingers.

“I’m a hugger. I calm individuals with a hug and optimistic communication. I couldn’t change who I’m due to COVID-19. A mom was in tears one evening and I requested her if I may give her a hug. The mother stated she discovered it so refreshing and regardless of COVID-19 to be hugged.”

Most rewarding days at work: “Once I’m working with a household and on the finish, they thank me and say they couldn’t have gotten via this with out me.”

One specific evening stands out for Frantz as she defined how she helped a person who had simply misplaced his spouse.

“To say he was devastated is placing it mildly,” she recalled. “I helped him make cellphone calls and I gave him time alone to try to comprehend all that occurred.”

Frantz was additionally there when he simply wanted to speak.

“We talked and talked, about something – his life, his spouse and something that introduced him some peace at the moment. He didn’t understand how he was going to make it with out her as he actually had nobody. One second at a time I instructed him. Don’t fear about tomorrow and what that day might convey.”


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