I’ve complained a lot about the lack of communication between doctors in this hospital, and the way we were seemingly pushed to the side until Justin and I stood together and figuratively shouted, “HELLO!” at the doctors.
I’ve even complained about a few of the doctors themselves, wondering why the heck they went into a profession knowing they would be working with children, and terrified/anxious/needy parents, who would need a lot of reassuring, hand-holding and patience, when they had none of those things to offer.
But, there is someone who can make everything seem like it’s going to be okay, even when you don’t really believe it: a great nurse.
This hospital, again, is supposedly the king of the children’s hospitals. Nurses and doctors come from all over the country, and the world, to work right here, right where my son currently lives. They’re all proficient and accurate in the technical sense.
But, they’re not all awesome.
This is day 68 in the NICU for Jackson, and he has two nurses per day– day shift and night shift. Yes, we do sometimes have the same nurse, and, now that he has been here for so long, he has primary nurses: nurses that have asked to be his nurse whenever they are working. But, we still see a lot of different faces.
And, the difference between a tolerable day in the hospital, and one that actually allows me to enjoy my son during this obnoxious time in our lives is a great nurse.
Someone that doesn’t just help give your son a bath– they add the oxygen tube to the water and turn it into his own jacuzzi spa. A nurse that delights in seeing how big he has gotten since he last saw him a few days ago, and rejoices with you when you realize he’s gone almost 24 hours without a reflux episode.
Someone who will stand in your room and talk through your fears about his upcoming surgery, and offers advice on what to expect– even the scary stuff you don’t want to hear, because she wants you to be prepared just in case.
A nurse that knows that sweet spot on his head that he likes to be rubbed on, and will stand there and do it long enough for him to fall asleep. Someone who remembers you have another child and remembers their name, their age, their likes and dislikes.
A nurse who, while your baby is their job, treats them like their own. You know they truly care about your child.
My husband and I plan to go out on Sunday to celebrate our wedding anniversary (wow, eight years!). Remember, we don’t leave our kids with anyone but family… but, we have a nurse, the kind I described above, who will be on shift and in charge of Jackson that night.
I trust her to look out for him while we’re gone. She’s that good.
And, she has made the NICU a better place for us.