Thursday, March 4, 2010

Off My Chest

I entered the healthcare field because I loved the life sciences and was fascinated by the human body's physiology.  Helping people was initially, secondary, but as I did my first internship, my field experience and now my clinicals, it has become my main purpose.  I always viewed the healthcare field as "good and true."

Not so much anymore.

As I complete more and more clinicals, I see and hear things that should never occur.  Things that should be seen only on "Law and Order," but not in reality.  I feel it has no place in my life, or anyone elses, and it really upsets me!

I think about my brother, who has just had his first baby and all my friends having babies and the idea that this could happen to someone I know and care about is quite disturbing. 

As a nurse, I am taught to be a patient advocate, to promote patient education, to utilize therapeutic communication and not be judgemental in anyway no matter what the patient decides.  But here on my blog, I refuse to hold my tongue! 

I have encountered two mother's now, who had to have their newborns taken to the treatment room for blood draws, who refused because "they couldn't bear to hear their baby scream in pain."  Well screw them!!  They are the parent.  How do you think the child feels.  Their baby is alone and suffering without their mother in the room who could provide some sort of comfort and familiarity.  Get off your ass and go support your baby!!  As painful as it is for the mother to hear it, it IS worse for the baby. 

As much as a parent wants to trust a healthcare professioinal with the best care for their baby, they do not all do the right thing, ALL the right time.  It is your job as the parent to ALWAYS protect your child. 

I heard a very true and horrible story that happened in a hospital the other day.  It makes me so angry and tearful to think this can happen, but it can and don't think it can't be your baby.

A newborn came in with possible meningitis and was on prophylacitc antibiotics already, but needed a lumbar puncture to confirm.  The lumbar puncture would provide cerebral spinal fluid, which would be tested for the presence of the bacteria.  The first day they attemped seven times!!!  Seven times to get the sample unsuccessfully, before giving up for the day.  It gets worse.  The next day they decided to try again.  The father had gone home to shower after a day in the hospital with his baby and wife.  The wife was asleep.  Healthcare staff did not wake the mother to the treatment or tell the father to be back and be present for the test.  They just whisked the baby to the treatment room and started poking away.  Again and again they tried, but were unsuccessful.  Nurses protested and said enough was enough, but doctors kept trying.  The baby screamed and screamed until it passed out from pain, but they kept going.  There was no parent in the room to fight for the baby, to stop the unethical behavior.  Finally, after eight tries the doctors gave up. 

15!  15 Fucking Times these doctors poked a little baby!!!  And no one stopped them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If there is anything to gain from my post it is this....

As much as you want to trust the healthcare professionals alone with your baby, you should always be a part of all your childs procedures, no matter how upset it makes you.  Ask questions, ask a lot of questions.  The baby can't speak for itself, so you must!!! 

1 comment:

Eric said...

I'm damn happy to hear you speak out like that. Stick to your guns. You will do amazing things as a nurse. Keep your integrity and you will be able to sleep well at night.

Keep up the good work.