I’ve spent A LOT of time in hospitals over the past year, which means I’ve spent a lot of time around nurses. Of course the doctors are crucial to my son’s care, but when it comes down to who is spending the most time with Little Dude and me, it’s the nurses without a doubt. And what I’ve discovered is that a good nurse can make all the difference in whether your medical care experience is good or bad.
When Little Dude has treatment, the nurses are the ones who are accessing his port, administering the medication, controlling his nausea, and keeping him feeling as comfortable and safe as possible. Bottom line is they are the ones involved in his hourly care — not the doctor. Oh and in case you’re not familiar with what “accessing a port” means. I’ll give it to you in laymen’s terms: it’s when the nurse sticks a needle into your child’s chest so that the medication can be delivered intravenously. The nurse doing this must first feel the chest for the port, to make sure she goes in at the right place. I’ve seen nurses miss (at a different hospital) and let me tell you, it’s not easy to watch. Once it’s properly inserted, the needle stays in anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours, depending on the medication regimen.
We have been fortunate to be supported by such skilled and caring nurses throughout this ordeal. In other words, they know what they are doing.
Want to know why am I singing their praises now?
Because it was one of the nurses who questioned the ineffectiveness of the anti-nausea meds and instead suggested to the doctor a different medication. This one hadn’t been tried previously because Little Dude didn’t meet the age requirement. However, since he met the weight limit, the nurse felt there was no reason not to try it. The doctor agreed with her.
No more post-treatment puking!
Thank you thank you thank you to the smart nurse who has now helped make Little Dude’s treatments SO much more tolerable.
I’ve also had nurses ask me how I am doing. They get it. Even though my child is the one receiving treatment, a good nurse also recognizes how taxing this experience is for the parents as well.
I’ve watched Little Dude’s nurses deal with crying babies, screeching toddlers and sullen teenagers. I would imagine the difficulty they must have in keeping their own emotions in check. There are times when I hear someone else’s child screaming in fear and I don’t know if I can hold it together.
I know this is their career and they signed up for this, but still, there is a lot of truth to the phrase, “Behind every good doctor, is a GREAT nurse.”
Little Dude’s doctors are great too, but as for the nurses, I say THANK YOU and BRAVO!
P.S. The motivation for this post was prompted by my current dealings with a horrendous dermatologist who is treating one of my other dudes. This is a doctor who does not return phone calls, meets with her patients for about five minutes, and has a terrible bedside manner. Her staff is also poorly trained and very unpleasant to interact with. I am switching to another dermatologist ASAP — right after I write her a very negative review on every medical ratings site available.