After a long and frustrating shift at work tonight I decided I should post some tips for parents of hospitalized children. Please keep these things in mind should your child ever need to be hospitalized (though some of these tips could be used on an every day basis too!).
*yep I drew this picture on the computer while at work during one of those rare quite times
1) If there is some kind of beeping in your room and I don't hear it, please put your call light on before coming in the hallway to complain that something has been beeping for 10 minutes. If it's annoying you, put your call light on. More importantly, beeps usually mean something is wrong so please don't ignore them.
2) Do not tell your child that his/her medicine is candy or that it tastes like candy. I can't begin to tell you the trouble it causes.
3) If your child is hitting, kicking, pulling the nurses' hair or attempting to bite the nurse, please step in and tell your child to stop. More importantly, please discipline your child when needed so that we avoid these situations in the first place.
4) If you bring your other children to the hospital, they are your responsibility, not mine.
5) Hospital floors are gross. Do not let your child roll around on them while throwing a tantrum.
6) Just because the curtain is closed does not mean you can sleep in just your underware. Should I need to wake you, I do not want to see it.
7) Along that same line, just because the curtain is closed doesn't mean we can't hear you. Please refrain from doing activities that should be reserved for your bedroom at home. A children's hospital is not the place for that type of stuff.
8) Please do not say to your child "here comes the bad nurse". That's not fair to me and only makes my job harder.
9) Before making life/death decisions, please think about your child's quality of life 20 years from now.
10) If your child is screaming for attention please do not ignore them. I am your child's nurse, not their nanny. It is not my job to entertain them while you watch TV. If you want to ignore your child, go home.
11) If you want a good night's sleep, go home. Yes I do need to turn the lights on to assess your child if things are not going well.
12) Please do not lie to your child and tell them you are "just going to the bathroom" and never come back. They learn to never trust anyone.
13) Please do not lie to your nurse and say you are "going to dinner and will be back in an hour" and never come back. I don't care if you come back or not, just don't tell me you will be back and then not show up. I told your child you would be right back and now he/she is mad at me.
14) Please do not drop your child off and not come back until an hour before discharge. Your child is scared and needs you during this hospitalization. The nurses need to educate you on things and the doctors need your help to make decisions.
15) I am not your maid. I am happy to get your child his/her water but you can get your own.
I think that sums it up for now. If I think of any more I will certainly let you know!