Another Troll-Nurse

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
alexp
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby alexp » Thu Oct 05, 2006 08:35 pm

WTG Michelle! I think you handled it perfectly.

Good for you for speaking up - I still wish I had about some of the things we dealt with when mine were in NICU.

akemt
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby akemt » Thu Oct 05, 2006 08:17 pm

I'm glad it seems to have worked out well --good for you. Lets hope that all continues to go well and that the planned focus group does wonders!

kara
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby kara » Thu Oct 05, 2006 08:08 pm

Good for you! I'm glad to hear she was reassigned. You were absolutely correct in bringing it up. Keep us posted on Shane's progress.Kara

michelle_chandler
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby michelle_chandler » Thu Oct 05, 2006 06:11 pm

Hi Bethany - thank you for making me feel in good company..because I am quite assertive as well..lol (poor DH- it must be the Italian in me). I wound up meeting with the Director of Nursing on Tuesday morning and she was very compassionate and understanding. She stated she would reassign and counsel the nurse immediately and was appalled at some of the stories DH and I told her. Our particular NICU is a new addition to the hospital and while it's a beautiful unit, it is sorely lacking in educational materials and support for the parents of preemies. As an institution they are aware of that and are making changes as we speak and DH and I are going to be part of a focus group on how to improve care and services provided to the families of little ones.

I am so glad that DH and I spoke up - not only for ourselves but for the parents of babies to come that will spend some time there.

bethany123
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby bethany123 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 05:57 pm

I'm so sorry about your experience. We ran into a few duds as well. I'm pretty assertive which the duds did not appreciate. You may want to go straight to the attending physician and NICU director rather than just through the nurses line.

The nurses will give you attitude for correcting them but don't let it get to you. You're mom and its your place more than theirs to advocate for your child. You have every right to ask as many questions as you want, be part and lead your child's care, and stay as long as you want.

The critical care NICU nurses were great but the step down nursery NICU nurses were very inconsistent. Some would always miss schedules and then say the babies weren't feeding well. I found that my daughter always took her full feeds from me but wouldn't from them. One of them did not weigh her properly coming up with a wieght that 20 grams off. When I made her repeat it and she got a higher wieght she initially refused to change her original measurement. I made her weigh my daughter again and when she saw that her first one was wrong again she had to change it. She tried to say that 20 grams wouldn't matter and that babies weights go up and down anyway. I couldn't believe this since weight is everything in the NICU and feeds are established based on weight. I went to the attending who set up a meeting with the charge nurse and the nurse. The doctor was definetely on my side while the nurses wanted to band together.

This is really up to what you feel comfortable doing but when someone is being rude or snitty to you, call them on it. I would look them straight in the eye, don't flinch and say "That comment was completely inappropriate and I don't want to hear you say something like that to me or another parent again. Do you understand." It really stopped them in their tracks and they cut it out. Its confrontational but the behavior of being rude because you 'tattled' on them is unprofessional and passive/aggressive.

If one of the nurses doesn't answer your question, you could tell her directly "you did not answer my question, I expect an answer now" in a commanding tone.

As there are nursing shortages, I'm not sure how much charge nurses take attitude or parents complaints into account. Writing a letter that you would send farther up the chain (cc the hospital director, patient advocacy, department head of the unit) would stick more as the direct supervisor can't just sweep your complaint under the rug. This takes times though and its completely understandable if you need to focus elsewhere.

Do what you feel best and what causes you the least anxiety. One of the previous poster's comment that once you are out the NICU it will all be behind is so true. Hang in there!











michelle_chandler
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby michelle_chandler » Mon Oct 02, 2006 04:02 pm

Well I called and left a voice mail for the nursing director of the NICU as I wanted to schedule a time tomorrow when DH and I could meet with her face to face and discuss our concerns. She called back and said she would meet with us but did not once ask.."is everything okay" or anything. I guess her nurses must get their sparkling personalities from her. I don't care..if she doesn't seem responsive then I am going to hospital administration. I'm not going to be made to feel unwelcome when I visit my son!grrr! On a side note..One of Shane's attendings called and when I mentioned a little something about my visit today..she said "yes, Karen is very short with people". What??? So even the doctor knows she is severely lacking in people skills and it is never addressed? DH didn't want to make waves at first, but I told him if we do not speak up now then other stressed out parents will be subjected to their venom in the future.

jdsmom
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby jdsmom » Mon Oct 02, 2006 04:02 pm

Michelle and Sonnet, I cannot believe your having to deal with attitude from the NICU nurses! They of all people, should be sensitive to your feelings - that is part of their job - to make the parents comfortable with their preemie in the NICU setting. While I had a couple nurses I wasn't so fond of, I always felt completely comfortable to ask questions and linger as long as I possibly could. I agree that a chat with the nursing director is definitely in order when you have the energy. I'm sorry you both are having to deal with this; it's so rough.

sonnet15
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby sonnet15 » Mon Oct 02, 2006 02:15 pm

I've found a couple nurses too, that just don't click. It really stinks when I have to deal with them, because it always feels like I'm imposing, whether I'm just sitting there with him, or if I *gasp* dare to ask questions. I hope you can get it resolved quickly, and without any unpleasantness *hugs*

michelle_chandler
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby michelle_chandler » Mon Oct 02, 2006 02:08 pm

Thank you for your good advice Kara. This is just such an awful predicament. I keep reminding myself that as Shane's mom I am to be an advocate for his care. I am too emotional today to be able to rationally discuss it with anyone but I think I will make it a point to meet with the Nursing Director of the unit tomorrow. Thanks again.

Michelle

kara
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Re : Another Troll-Nurse

Postby kara » Mon Oct 02, 2006 02:03 pm

Oh Michelle, what an awful thing to deal with during the most difficult time. You might consider taping the conversations, but I don't know what the laws are in your state; but it is not as if you will be using these tapes for legal matters. Either way, if it is interfering with visiting and caring for your son, something needs to be done. Even if you have to be labeled "difficult parents". Obviously, it's advantageous to be on good terms with the staff, but you need to feel comfortable with the care your son is receiving, period. We had one nurse that was less than friendly....fortunately she was a fill in and not a regular nurse, so we only dealt with her once or twice. We also complained about another nurse who always spoke about 3 decibel levels louder than she needed to, and we felt our daughter was anxious/stressed when she cared for her. Changes were made and we never felt labeled. Speak to the Charge nurse or the head nurse (we dealt with the assistant head nurse). Be truthful and tell her your concerns of being labeled as difficult parents, but that you are having problems with the nurse. Be specific about the problems, or what was said, and how it made you feel. The head nurses realize that this is one of the most challenging times of your life. And it is part of their job to make you feel safe to express your emotion, and feel welcomed; to be there and to take care of your son.


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