Thursday, March 26, 2009

bedside manners, please

I come from a family and culture full of nurses. I think they have one of the toughest jobs in the world and don't get due credit for their efforts. So it pains me to blog about Nurse X who works at my family doctor's office.

But, I mean, what was she thinking when she called my son "devil child" before putting a needle in his arm?! Did she assume I could not hear her while I was holding my 18-month-old's legs down while another nurse held his arms. Yes, my son was kicking and screaming. But justified or not, she MUST know that a mother NEVER wants to hear these words associated with her child, EVER.

Maybe she thought she was being funny. Well, you know what? She has not yet earned the freedom to be that familiar with us. We don't even know her name because she has not bothered to introduce herself at this visit nor three months ago when we first met her.

Yes, I understand that the doctor’s office is a busy workplace. I’m not asking her to be our friend. However, when a young child is crying and clearly full of fear, it is necessary to take a moment to try to give him some reassurance and a bit of time to calm down. Instead, she seemed only interested in getting her job done. I'm sure she remembers us well because, three months ago, my son (even after taking a very full diaper off him) became so upset that he peed all over the scale when she tried to weigh him.

To set the record straight, my son's profound fear of the mere sight of a doctor’s table is very real to him. He has had several traumatic experiences while lying on one, including having a lesion on his chest cut and drained without anesthetics and enduring a couple of failed attempts at having I.V. inserted in his hand.

Nurse X's apathy was both disturbing and puzzling to me. Why is she in this profession? And, the name-calling ... well, that was just rude and inexcusable.

Mind your bedside manners, Nurse X!


  1. yes indeed! you never call a child name,she was very unprofessional. she's lucky you didn't report her.

  2. Wow. Maybe her manager needs to hear about that, if only to give Nurse Ratchet a little guidance on what NOT to do when giving a child shots. I've been working out a little essay in my head about my daughter's shot-phobia. (It really is a phobia-quality fear.) Reading about your experience here makes my heart pound, thinking of the possibility of ending up in the hands of just such a nurse once we finally go in for my daughter's 5-year immunizations. It really is barbaric, how some healthcare providers treat kids' fears and pain. It's as though little person = little importance.

    Thanks for the very nice, thoughtful comment you left on my blog, by the way. I appreciated it.

  3. What an ass that nurse is... I just wanted to say that this is one of the best all time names for a blog ever, and a pen name! Going to read the rest of your blog now!

  4. This rant is akin to me mumbling profanities in the bathroom before coming out to calmly tell my kids not to do something they know they shouldn't be doing for a 100th time. I had a very civilized conversation with my family doctor on Friday and she'll be speaking to nurse x to work out how she can make our visits a little less frightening for my son.

    So true about how some people equate little person with little importance, JennyPenny. Just this weekend at McD's, my husband held the door open for my 3-yr-old and this man basically walked right through him without missing a beat. My son was left outside wondering whether it was ok to come in.