Hooray For The Nurses!

January 23, 2014 in Hospital Tales

Interplast Nurses in Dhaka

Interplast Nurses in Dhaka (Photo credit: ReSurge International)

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.

The result?

No more post-treatment puking!

At all.

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.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie January 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Incredible news! So glad that Little dude can be more comfortable! It’s those little things like side effects and ports that make all the difference in day to day. I know that that your family especially has always known that behind a great Dr. is an AMAZING nurse!


ohboymom January 23, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Ha – thanks. Yes, I was going to put that in the post too, not only about my mom, but about the nurses that took care of her too, but my brain could only focus on one topic at a time today.:)


Kelly January 23, 2014 at 7:40 pm

My mom is an R.N. and was as long as I can remember. Nurses are such special people and the good ones know how to care for people just like their families:))


ohboymom January 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

My mom was an R.N. too! And I agree, they are such special people. Sounds like we were both raised by awesome moms.:)


Kristi Campbell January 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I’m SO glad that for the most part Little Dude has had amazing nurses. That, I’m sure, makes all of the difference. I think to my own little tiny medical things and it’s ALWAYS the nurses who are nice, ask how you’re doing, and are just nice. The doctor comes in, does his thing, and leaves. The nurses come back and help. I’m beyond happy that one recognized that the weight limit of LD matters more, and that his anti-nausea medicines are working now. xo to you, and to them. and most of all, Little Dude. xo


ohboymom January 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Thanks Kristi – I’m glad to hear the nurses have been good to you too. And more importantly, thank you for continuing to cheer us on. xo


Julia January 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

AMEN – Hooray for the nurses! And double hooray that Little Dude is feeling better post treatment! What an improvement – that’s huge! And I’m relieved to know that you feel supported by them, too. It truly is a caring profession.


ohboymom January 27, 2014 at 10:22 am

Yes, I agree that so much about nursing is providing care and comfort, but they also are so tuned in to a patient, often more so than the doctor.


Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. January 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm

That is such fantastic news! I can totally understand your gratitude, and I’m sure the nurses appreciate knowing how much they mean to you. I bet they don’t get told that often enough. You are right- nurses are the ones who can make the biggest difference sometimes. So happy you have had such great ones.
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ohboymom January 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

Thanks Stephanie and yes, I hope Little Dude’s nurses know what a difference they make to us as well as the other families here


Terrye January 25, 2014 at 7:54 am

My mom was a nurse for most of the years I was growing up. I was always impressed by the dedication she had towards her patients. When they hurt, she hurt, when she lost one, she cried. She switched to pediatric nursing and loved it. Until she lost one of her favorite patients. It stressed her out so badly, she had a heart attack. Dad finally made her give up nursing, but she was never as happy after that.

Nurses can make the difference in a patient’s care and stay at the hospital. SO glad you have a team of outstanding ones. Little Dude deserves the best and so do you! 😀
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ohboymom January 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

My mom was a nurse too, although she worked with the elderly for most of her career…she too approached her profession with so much passion and dedication, but like your mom, she also experienced periods of stress. It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse.


Thom Bastian February 22, 2014 at 9:56 am

I couldn’t agree more! I’d like to think I’m a caring, empathetic individual…but to be able to extend that to strangers on a daily basis – that would be draining! I have nothing but respect for these nurses who are able to be such a positive impact throughout their career.
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