Meet the Transport Team: Annette Webb
Annette Webb, a respiratory therapist with the Critical Care Transport team, loves working with children, particularly at Children’s Mercy.
She had previously worked with them at a general population hospital, where the job could be a lot more difficult, because it didn’t always have the right-sized equipment for little bodies and the staff wasn’t specifically trained in dealing with them like they are at Children’s Mercy.
“I like the autonomy of my (transport) job,” she says. “We’re assisting physicians by telling them what we’re seeing and trying to help them figure out what’s going on.”
Annette estimates that she has transported 6,000 children in her 19 years on the job.
On emotionally tough days, she falls back on her Christian faith, and feels as though God has put her into the lives of the sick and injured children that she transports and their families … to help them get healthy but also to cope.
“I really feel like I get a lot more back than I give, so it feeds my soul,” she says.
She’s developed a strategy for dealing with scared parents who ride along with their children.
“We explain to the best of our ability what is happening, even when we don’t exactly know,” she says. “And we’re very honest. We’ll say, ‘Your child is very sick, and this is what we’re doing right now.’ I feel like if you’re honest, they respect that. And I treat their children as if they were my own or the children of my friends.”
What’s the least favorite part of her job? Well, that’s a no-brainer: “Wearing a onesie when it’s 110-plus degrees and 90 percent humidity and not a stitch of wind and someone asks, ‘Aren’t you hot?”
Work doesn’t always stop when her transport shifts end: She’s also mother to Wilbur Webba, a "hot mess" Shih Tzu that she rescued with heart and respiratory issues.
“He’s a quirky, funny little guy," she says.
Learn more about the Critical Care Transport Team at Children's Mercy