Carol Schober-Flores, RN, a clinical wound specialist at Children’s Colorado, has revolutionized care for children with epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Patients with this painful disease are known as “butterfly kids,” because their skin and tissues are exquisitely fragile and susceptible to damage from friction. Normal everyday bumps and scratches can cause blisters and erosions, which can result in life-threatening infections. This rare genetic disorder has no cure and requires lifelong treatment.
Nurse recognized for her multidisciplinary approach
For more than 20 years, Schober-Flores has taken a multidisciplinary approach to caring for children with EB. From careful and precise dressing and healing of their wounds to research, education and psychological and psychosocial support, Schober-Flores has advocated tirelessly for the EB patient population.
This work was recognized when Schober-Flores was named the 2019 National Magnet Nurse of the Year by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This award recognizes outstanding contributions of clinical nurses to innovation, consultation, leadership and professional risk-taking. Schober-Flores is one of only five recipients across the entire country.
“EB is very intimidating for parents and healthcare providers who haven’t seen it before,” said Schober-Flores. “Lots of times people are afraid to handle these children, but these kids need to be loved and cuddled just like other kids — just in a more gentle way.”
Improving the patient experience for kids around the world
Not only has Schober-Flores helped improve the patient experience, she has also improved wound healing outcomes for kids around the world. Even though her patients will never be wound-free, Schober-Flores’ research and education have helped to improve healing times and minimize rates of infection.
“Seeing patients arrive at the clinic for what could be a traumatic experience, and turning it into one of trust, acceptance and patience is inspiring,” said Caleb Dettman, director of patient care services at Children’s Colorado. “Carol’s positive impact on patients with EB is immeasurable.”