April 09, 2008 | | Comments 1
Print This Post
Email This Post

Sister Nurse: The other side of the bed

By Karen L. Madsen, MSN, APRN-BC

Blog admin note: While different from most blog posts on SFNM.com, this is a captivating, inside look at nursing today. It is, at the same time, a look through a professor’s eyes and through a mother’s eyes. The article first appeared on StressedOutNurses.com and was quickly picked up by Comarow on Quality, the U.S. News & World Report blog on medical safety and quality.

I don’t like this side of the bed. No, I take that back. I loathe this side of the bed. It scares me, it makes me angry, it makes me cry. I have no control over this side of the bed, I have little identity, I don’t have much of a voice. All this and more ran through my mind as I sat at the bedside of my 15-year-old daughter recently. It had been a long time since I had been part of the patient equation of the hospital rather than the nurse. It was just as much fun as I remembered.

Our daughter, Grace, is our baby, the youngest of our four children. Grace is a typical teenage girl. She slams doors, she cries at the drop of a hat. She grazes all day rather than sitting down to a meal. She is funny and emotional and dramatic, and she is a world class champion at texting on her cell phone. All of our children have been blessedly healthy, but Grace is our emergency room child. You know, she is THAT child, the one who falls, who hits her head, who goes through a fence on a horse, the one who had more stitches by age 5 than her other three siblings had, combined, by age 20!

A few weekends ago, she came home from a school-sponsored trip on a Saturday afternoon unexpectedly pale and pouty. She can be dramatic, but is rarely pouty. I should have known then something was up or something was wrong. Her group had stopped for lunch at KFC and then she had ridden in the back of a school bus home for about 90 minutes, so I wasn’t overly surprised or alarmed when she complained of feeling nauseated. I checked her forehead with the inside of my right wrist, my trusty mother thermometer. No fever. It was Saturday afternoon and I wanted to spend some time with my husband doing something we liked to do to relax. So, I basically told her to suck it up and quit whining.

We walked around a couple of flea markets and hit the grocery store for supper supplies. Once we were home, she took a nap and woke feeling a little better. Later that night, she had several episodes of vomiting and I began to think food poisoning rather than a virus was affecting my girl. Still, she had no fever, no localized pain, certainly no pain on either side of her abdomen. “Relax,” I thought, “there are a million viruses out there right now. She’ll be better in the morning.”

And she was. Or at least I believed she was. As we had been up late the night before, both she and I slept until around noon. She woke up, ate a bite or two of breakfast, and had another nap.

It was another story when she woke about 5 p.m.

Read the rest of Karen’s two-part column.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Image of nursing

Tags:

About the Author: This post was compiled by members of the Strategies for Nurse Managers staff.

RSSComments: 1  |  Post a Comment  |  Trackback URL

  1. If you haven’t accessed allnurses.com, and avery comarow’s blog comments, you haven’t seen how nurses reacted to these comments. This is one educator who must educate herself prior to writing anymore pieces outlining problems in healthcare. Her views are skewed and one-sided, definitely not appreciated by me or any of my fellow ER RNs.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.