My heart is aching again, my blood was boiling again. My son needed a high level MRI, a test ordered by his new doctor, that required sedation, and of course another IV. My little guy has developed a strong fear of needles and IVs now after his extended hospital stay earlier in January. I told the staff about it and felt like I was telling my concerns to a wall. They did not heed my advice, and from my point of view, did nothing to lessen his fears and make him feel safe.
I wanted to say no to the test, but they were checking for early brain damage that one of the diseases he MAY have , that if left undiagnosed could be truly serious quite quickly. (He does not have this, thankfully) So I allow my child to be tormented for several more hours that day.
I am really frustrated overall and just can’t believe that minimizing stress on children is not standard or even a priority for non-urgent situations in a children’s hospital. We were asking him to do a test, not providing life saving medication. No need to rush. These things should be done on kiddo-time, not penny counting hospital schedule time.
And then there is my stress too – I had a flashback in the MRI room when I had one without sedation, I have realized how much of my childhood trauma is from my own hospital stays, ha, it’s not all my parents’ fault. I don’t want my kiddo to have PTSD, really really don’t.
I have spoken up when I can, told the nurses and doctors how stressful these tests are, and they apologize but say there is no other way. I call bullsh**.
If I ran that lab, I would make sure kids are comfy and secure before they see any needles, bandages, rubber band thingies. Some nurses do this – most do not. He was in the room less than 3 seconds before a team came in with the tray he now recognizes is for IVs. He curled up in a ball, started rocking and moaning repeatedly “no poke, no poke”. Too many people in the room, a new room, everyone rushing at him and talking at once, bribing and reasoning with a mind in an unreasonable state. You can not reason a 5 year old out of this state, you have to wait for calm to return. It takes time. Offering a sticker to a child that has had about 50 painful pokes this month will do nothing except make him think you are stupid.
If I ran the lab – I would talk to parents and look over history to see if anything makes it better or worse for that kiddo. I told them not to say the word “poke” and it was one of the first things out of her mouth. Then she looked at the chart and said “oops” and giggled to laugh off her mistake. And I would not assume that my actions don’t matter since the kid isn’t supposed to remember it – nurse kept saying we’ll just do this quick, don’t worry he won’t remember any of it because the meds cause amnesia. Yes well, maybe when calm? My guy remembers everything except the time he was actually asleep in the machine. Everything. He remembers everything that nurse said and did and sadly he told me all about it and asked if he had to do that again. My heart sunk so low. I don’t know. I told him I hope not. Because I don’t know what else is in store for him as he goes through more diagnostic tests until we get the answer the doctors want.
And If I ran the lab – I would better inform parents of what to expect. The Doctor, after it happened and only because I asked, said about 40% of kids have trouble waking up from that medication, and have experiences similar to night terrors, emergent delirium they call it. No one thought to warn me about that, or soothe me while it happened. I guess they see it so much it doesn’t phase them? They don’t think Mom needs to know her kiddo is ok? They asked me if I had any questions about the sedation, but I didn’t know what to ask. They should have told me.
He was so upset after this procedure and the rough wake up, and the nurse being so overbearing and pressuring him to get ready to go home (despite me asking many times for her to back off and give him space) that he could not calm down and we took him out to my van still completely screaming, poor guy.
And then the nurse looks at me and says “Is he always like this?” It took everything in me not to punch her in the face. I wanted to say, “no he only screams after being tortured and pressured and scared half to death” But somehow I said “no, he is having a hard time today”
Is bedside manner and stress reduction seriously not a required course for nurses? Do they have to do anything special to become a pediatric nurse?