A look inside St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Part I

Defeating childhood cancer: the people behind it all

By Anna Yee

March 20, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013 at 6:49 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- These are the faces that usually come to mind when thinking about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
But there are more.

These faces help keep the hospital running and help keep its patients alive.

Anna Baker is a nurse at St. Jude.

From patient scheduling to clinical care, the nurses do it all.

"Everything from giving medications, assessing your patient, calling physicians, to sitting in on rounds," said Baker. "We basically do everything."

That includes following strict hygiene rules.

In fact, hand hygiene at St. Jude rates 46% higher than the national average, and each nurse treats no more than three patients at a time.

"Sometimes it can be hard, because you see these kids every day, and they sort of become like your little family," said Baker, "but you just have to learn to leave it here I guess."

"My favorite days are when you get to discharge people, and they get to go home, just to see how happy they are and to see the look on their face when they're leaving is amazing," continued Baker. "It's awesome."

Advancing the health of children is also the goal of the hospital's Chaplain Services, which attends to the patients and families' spiritual and emotional needs.

"When that grief process and that faith process sort of collide, it causes people to question. 'Why is this happening? Why is this happening to my child? Why is this happening at this particular time?' said Brent Powell, the St. Jude Director of Chaplain Services. "We provide the opportunity in a safe place for our families to express their anger, their concern, their questions."

Powell says the department advocates for any family requesting the service, regardless of religious affiliation.

That's a notion that shouldn't come by surprise.

The hospital was named after Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Patron of Hopeless and Desperate Causes, like life-threatening illnesses, something staff members work hard to combat every day.

You have a chance to help combat childhood cancer, too... by entering to win Peoria's St. Jude Dream Home.

The four bedroom house is located at 3011 West Wessex Drive.

You can purchase raffle tickets during weekend open house tours, at Kroger stores, or online at wwwStJude.org/DHPeoria (click link above).

The winning ticket will be drawn on WEEK April 14.

And tune into News 25 next Wednesday, March 27, for Part II of 'A look inside St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.'