November 19, 2013
CHOC Children’s phlebotomist Jaime Serna was one of only six Southern California health care professionals honored recently with a Hospital Hero Award from the National Health Foundation. The award distinguishes professionals who have made outstanding contributions to their hospitals, including providing exceptional patient care above and beyond the call of duty.
Serna’s dedication to and compassion for his patients drew the attention of the Hospital Heroes Selection Committee. Jokes and magic are not what most children expect to get when coming to the hospital for a blood draw, but Serna’s patients and their families know he always has “tricks” up his sleeve to create the most pleasant experience possible. Serna is sensitive to the anxiety children feel at the thought of a needle being inserted into their skin. Whether he’s drawing blood from a teenager or a toddler, he has a special talent for putting his patients at ease, and making their lab work as quick and pain free as possible.
When the hospital recently opened its 20,000-square-foot clinical laboratory, the only pediatric-dedicated lab in the region, Serna trained phlebotomists to meet the “one visit, one poke” goal. His sincere concern for patients inspired new employees, who quickly adopted Serna’s “tricks” for creating the most compassionate experience possible.
Serna’s commitment to patients extends beyond the lab. Wanting to empower his patients and encourage them to achieve their dreams, regardless of any limitations, he organized a “Children’s Day” celebration. In addition to live entertainment, free toys and healthy snacks, the event showcased patients, with various conditions, performing for other patients, their families and staff. Serna pulled some children, who needed a little encouragement, into his magic act. He wanted to increase their self-esteem, making them feel as special as he knows they are. He accomplished all of this, while still performing his duties as a phlebotomist.
“The role of a phlebotomist is critical to getting accurate lab results and, eventually, diagnoses. Jaime achieves that, while doing so much more for our patients and their families. By going above and beyond the call of duty to leave a positive, lasting impact on patients, Jaime is a true hospital hero and we’re proud to have him here at CHOC,” said Steve Keller, director, laboratory services, CHOC Children’s.
About CHOC Children's: Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital, CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence - The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes. CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence. Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680