One of the most helpless, and often terrifying, feelings a parent can have is having a sick child. All you want to do is help them. To make them feel better and take their pain away. You’d gladly take in yourself if you could. But, of course, we can’t. But we do whatever we can to make them better. And sometimes that means putting our faith in other people – in health professionals.
When my daughter was 4 years old she became quite ill, quite suddenly. We tried to manage as best we could at home but it soon became clear that she wasn’t getting any better and that we needed help. That was the start of a journey that began in the ER and turned into a week long stay at the hospital. It was one of the most frightening times of my life and I still get anxiety thinking about it now. My little girl had to undergo test after test, a CT scan, an MRI, and EEG, blood tests, and I’m sure there were more that I can’t quite recall right now. It was an ordeal. And I cannot begin to express how grateful I was to the amazing Registered Nurses that were along on that journey with us. From our first moments in the ER right through until the day my daughter was discharged, the RNs that worked with us were a critical part of our health care team. I specifically recall (because I’ll never forget) when they brought my daughter back from her CT scan. The doctor told us that she would probably wake up in 30-45 minutes. She did not. In fact she did not wake up for 6 hours. To say this was alarming to me would be an understatement. And I will forever be grateful for the Registered Nurse that sat by my daughter’s side the entire time, checking her vitals and assuring me, many times, that everything was going to be ok. I am fortunate enough to have spent a long period of my career working for a registered nurse regulatory body so I have a very good understanding of the expert level of training each and every registered nurse receives here in Saskatchewan. As concerned as I was, I also knew my girl was in good hands.
This is just one small snippet of our experience in the hospital when my daughter was so sick. I could probably write an entire post full of the all the ways the RNs in the hospital that week made a difference – how they were always ready to answer questions and explain things I didn’t understand, how they were always professional even when I was an exhausted, scared mother on the verge of losing it. I think that many of us think of registered nurses as been kind and compassionate caregivers, and that they are, but it is the expert level of care that they are able to provide that makes all the difference. The impact that registered nurses have on patient outcomes AND patient safety is measurably positive. They are absolutely vital to our health care in Saskatchewan and they have proven that to me over and over again. I hope to never have the need to walk through the the ER doors with my daughter again (wishful thinking I know) but if we do find ourselves there I know that when I spot that RN name tag that we will be in good hands.
If you haven’t yet visited the Making The Difference website I really encourage you to do so. There are some really powerful articles and videos available that shows some of the important work registered nurses do in this province and how other members of the healthcare system, like physicians, value the that work. And if you have a story to share about how a registered nurse has had an impact on your life I would really love to hear it! I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of other parents that are grateful to have their kids feeling better and back to doing all the things kids do thanks, in part, to dedicated, expert care that we get from our registered nurses. I know I am.
Disclosure: This post is brought you in partnership with SUN. This story, and all opinions expressed in it, are completely my own.