My title seems obvious to me, but I feel the need to share this advice to the world after meeting so many nurses that simply should not be nurses, or at least not pediatric nurses.
I am not a nurse. I would be terrible at it. I love helping people, but I wear out quickly. I have so much empathy that I feel the pain of others and find it impossible to remain calm and strong in emergencies.
I am not a sunny, perky person. I tend to be quiet, introspective, and thoughtful. I can not easily walk into a room with a big smile and a big happy voice. I have never stretched a “hello” into 10 bouncing syllables.
My son went through so many traumatic experiences in the hospital last week. He did not need grumpy or apathetic nurses to compound his misery. I’d say we met about 20 different nurses last week. Most were fine – friendly and hard working but nothing remarkable. A few were stellar – they had those outward personalities that positively charge a room and make everyone feel at ease. A few should consider a different profession, or at least a break if they are burned out.
Stress is real, and its effects on health are well known now. Children are easier to frighten, and have more volatile systems and should be given extra special treatment when hospitalized to encourage recovery. Children are less inclined to cooperate with medical staff unless they feel safe and trust them. Children see them as strangers, and young children have huge emotions they can’t yet control. Hell, I have huge emotions I can’t yet control. Reducing stress is the key.
Some of the nurses forgot my little guy was a frightened, tired, hurting 5 year old boy. Some I think even forgot he was a person at all, and just tried to methodically complete the task at hand robotically, compassion-free. Some of the nurses are lucky I had enough self-control not to wring their necks. Some of the nurses were reported to the charge nurse though.
I have huge respect for all nurses. It must me a tiring, often thankless job. Like being a mother to all those helpless patients. I get that. But if you don’t like taking care of people, and can’t force a smile on your face and take a minute to make someone feel safe, and think it is acceptable to use force before an introduction, or blame the child for misbehaving – please find a different job.