Thursday, March 21, 2013

Please just think.

To any medical professional that works on my child, this is what I ask of you.

I understand that this is your job, that you "know" what you are doing, that you do this everyday, but I simply ask that you stop before you come into my child's room and just think. Think about everything she has been through, think about the reason you wanted to become a nurse, think about the fact that you are working in a hospital solely devoted to caring for sick children, remember to show compassion.
 Think about the families represented here, the mommy's and daddy's who have had their entire world flipped upside down. Think about the Nana's and Grandaddy's who want to spoil them, think about the aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, friends all who are affected by this one life in your care.
 Please realize that you are only seeing a glimpse into what she has been though as you take your shift. Please remember that when your shift ends you get to go home, while we face yet another night in a hospital.
 When you are complaining about the high maintenance mom that made you double check the meds, remember that you were wrong and I could have just saved my daughters life. Think about your own child and the care you would want them to be treated with. Think about the fact that everyone makes mistakes and as her mom it's my job to double check your work before it hurts my child.
 I'm not a threat to you, I am thankful for you, I respect you and always strive to speak kindly to you. I apologize when you have to go out of your way, I am always willing to hear your reasons for doing things the way you do. However, please, don't for one second mistake my position as inferior to yours. I don't feel superior, however, I am her mom.
 I will do my best to protect my daughter from unnecessary pain, from fear, from sickness, from prolonged hospital stays, etc. If that means asking you to switch heart monitors as apposed to switching all of her leads, please don't act like I asked you to swim across the Atlantic. If I ask you to use a smaller piece of tape, please know, I am in no way trying to make your job harder, I'm simply doing what is best for my daughter. If I remind you to wash your hands and you roll your eyes, it makes me question you all the more.
 I realize you aren't use to mom's like me. I know I keep you on your toes, but before you dismiss the way I want things done, please stop and think about how difficult life is for us right now, please realize that whenever you have been through as much as my daughter has been through, that just the mere sight of you will make her tremble, please, chose to treat me with the same respect with which I treat you. I am always willing to do whatever I can to make your job easier, but when it comes to my child, she will always come first. When I ask you not to wake her and you ignore me, it makes it harder to be kind to you, but I am.
 I understand that you are in charge of many children all at once and you can't have your whole schedule revolve around my daughter, but please, use me to your advantage, I'm here to help. I also understand that sometimes the way something is done can't be changed, I will step aside after you explain why and hear out our ideas for improvement. I have no intention of leaving you to babysit my child, in fact the less you are in her room the better. I do everything I'm legally able to do to help when it comes to her care. The bottom line is, it's not about you, it's not about me, it's about my sick child.
Please, I beg you, just think before you enter her room.


  1. Amen, Amy. I will never forget a nurse that scolded me for insisting that if my daughter didn't want to take her pain meds orally that they give them in suppository form. She disdainfully told me that she was just "having a control issue". Absolutely. She couldn't control that she had a brain tumor, that she had her head shaved, that she want even allowed to sit up when she wanted to because of the drain in her brain. But she could, with all her for year old might, control what she did and did not want to swallow and if that was all the control she could have, then as her mom I was going to make sure that she was allowed that tiny pittance of control. YOU are Ella's advocate, it is what God has given you to do, dont let anyone suggest you are wrong for doing so.

  2. Wow! This needs to be posted inside every break room of every workplace dedicated to taking care of sick children. I am a nurse. I am now a school nurse because I am getting older. The majority of my early years, however, were spent inside the walls of PICU's taking care of infants and children who had undergone heart surgery, brain surgery, procedures to fix traumatic injuries and so on. I worked with the best of the best. I was one of the best. I was at the top of my game, so to speak. But I never forgot why I was there - to heal a broken child and their family. I probably rolled my eyes a time or two early on, but was put in my place one day by a mother. A mother who knew her child better than me. Sure, I knew all about the disease ravaging her child, but I didn't know enough about mothering to know I was WAY out of my league with this one. I won't go into any detail, but suffice it to say that I became a better nurse after realizing that no one knows their child better than mom and dad. So, Amy, keep on with your lessons. I hope the nurse you were talking about thought long and hard about that "near miss" med error that you caught. I hope that the nurse in your post realizes what an advocate you really are. Thank you for loving your child so very much that you mustered the courage to write such a kind, eloquent request to us all. Ella is in the best hands she could possible be in. Don't ever forget that! Much love from a wiser RN!

  3. Oh My Oh My!!!!!!!!!! What a wonderful post. Don't ever ever ever stop being the way you are, Ella's wonderful mom who is protecting your daughter the best way you can. There is no excuse to have to tell a health care provider to wash their hands. Unbelievable. Thank God you catch these things when they happen. This is about the best post you have done yet. I LOVE IT. This is absolutely so important. Sometimes I think they get "hardened" to some things. Ignore them when they have an attitude. Let them go ahead and roll their eyes. Who cares. They can roll them all they want. Amy, sometimes your posts are so wonderful, because we don't think of what you are having to deal with. Keep reminding us as we all go about our daily lives. I am a health care provider, so I understand exactly what you are saying, but so many people don't. GO AMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Amy, you would have loved to meet my wife when her mother was in a nursing home dying of emphysema around 10 years ago. The staff coined her the big bit** because she would not tolerate seeing even a hint of poor care for her mom. She would also look out for other residents on the floor and question the supervisor and administrator as to the care they were or were not receiving - and she didn't even know them. You wouldn't want to be in her way when she found neglect or disrespect from any of the nurses or care givers. I know she would say to you that when it comes to the care of your daughter you may very well have to be the big bit** in a respectful way of course. The end result was that all the residents on her mothers "terminally ill" floor received optimal care for fear of Pauline's wrath. Her mother passed away years ago, but I think she left a lasting
    impression on the staff as to the level or care the elderly deserve and should receive.


    1. Amen! After my husband's 26 days in the hospital, I can only remember 2-3 aides/nurses I would "re-hire," because the majority were just doing their job, haphazardly at best. Often I had to search for help after his light had been on thirty minutes! He was left unattended while in the ER, even tho he was having spasms and was unconscious. When moved to a specialty hospitaL, he was almost dropped off the gurney and ended up bruised. Immobile and dizzy, he was left on the potty chair unattended for thirty minutes at a time - which I discovered when I camE in unexpectedly. And when questioned, the nuRse tolD me he needed to learn patience!

      What I want to say is...EveRyone's job is difficult. Period. But as a medical professional, you physicians, specialists, and RNs earn a salary 2 - 20 times what most other workers make, and many of those workers attended universities, too. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE TO GO INTO A "CARING PROFESSION, THEN "CARE," and if you just don't have any compassion or empathy for your patients, finD a different profession...please!

      An Oklahoma Mother

  5. Amy, Well said...and I agree that it should be posted in hospitals around the country!!. You are absolutely right in every word you said. I am so sorry that nurse treated you so disdainfully. As far as I am concerned, you are superior to her. She will never feel for your daughter as you do and therefore could never treat her as well as you do or even know what is the best for her. I am so glad you made her double check and stood up for your daughter. Your mama bear instinct came to the forefront...You are an amazing mama to Ella. Hugs!

  6. If the doctors don't appreciate your insistence for perfection, ELLA does. And she is all that matters. Never EVER feel discouraged.

  7. This is what it means to "be an advocate" for your child (loved one). You are the most important member of Ella's health care team because you are there every moment ... physically and emotionally. You are doing your job and Ella is in better hands when you are on duty. Prayers to you all.

  8. I hope this didn't happen to you in Dallas. :( I hope this was the local hospital you've spoken of before and not where you're headed. If Dallas, I will stop by and help you out with unruly staff who want to be rough with your sweet baby girl - you just let me know!!


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