Be Yourself

Be Yourself

This is the final part of my short series about what I told the nurses during an opportunity to speak at a residency training at our local children’s hospital. Click here for the first part “Love the Parents” and the second “Love the Patient

And the last piece of advise for nurses is to be yourself.

When our preemies were in the NICU my husband wanted to be funny and told our nurse that he couldn’t wait until they were out of there and running around and talking back. Easy to say when you are worried about them being able to breath or have sunlight hit their little cheeks!

That sharp and very spunky nurse got very close to him and pointed at him and said “Don’t you ever say that!” As a grandma she offered her perspective about how he needed to not rush things because the wonderful times of them being so little will go by too fast.

I am sure as a nurse, finding the balance of what to share about yourself with your patients and parents is difficult. And, I can be realistic, you have a lot of patients, remembering who you talked to about what is probably kind of hard to keep straight too. But as parents of babies who were far from talking, it was nice to have some adult interaction and build relationships with our sweet nurses.

Keeping our mind off things while charts were being completed and beds were being made was a chance for use to really fall in love with our nurses and who they really are. My some was in the NICU for 28 days and Dylan 89. That’s a lot of time we spent with the nurses caring for our little ones.

That was it from me but along with my talk I was able to listen in to the talks that a couple of other parents had prepared and I learned a lot from them too. Here are a couple of things the other parents talked about.

Trust the parent and listen to them. Sometimes our kids don’t tolerate things the way you have been taught how to do them. One parent spoke of her grown son who can’t handle being changed with the traditional side to side way that nurses are taught. She appreciated those nurses willing to listen to her and have her show them the best way to get the job done.

Pay attention to the little things. Another spoke of a traumatic beside procedure that his daughter has gone through, after that procedure, they had to look at what they knew was their daughters blood on the side of garbage can for days. Be aware of your surroundings and try to think of how the parents would feel in that setting. Just a small thing like taking care of that would have made the parents feel so much better.

Be patient and repeat yourself if needed. Another parent advised that the nurses may have to repeat themselves often. Parents are going through so much they might not have heard or might not have fully understood the first time. I can relate to this because when we were first receiving diagnosis after diagnosis we kind of let everything roll of our back as we got a grip on the BIG things. Once we had our mind wrapped around one diagnosis, we were ready to take on the next. But not until then.

I will close this series with this from a mom. “I know very few people who don’t hold nurses with high regards.” Everyone loves their nurses and everyone wants to love who will be spending the most time with their children while they are in-patient.

It was a great opportunity to be able to go talk to this room full of bright smiley nurse faces. I really enjoyed being able to go and I hope I am tapped on the shoulder to be able to do it again., I would jump on it!

Did you read my series? Do you have anything else that you would like to tell the nurses? What about your favorite nurse experience?

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