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Author Topic: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.  (Read 14582 times)

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camlan

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2010, 10:05:51 AM »


The most guilt I felt was when Leo was being discharged, he had to be put into his carseat before they would let us leave. (hospital policy.) I couldn't carry his carseat with him in it and walk the distance to the elevator to the parking garage - I was still very weak from giving birth to him, and so I had to ask them to take me in a wheelchair to the parking garage. I really felt guilty then.  :-\

There's no reason to feel guilty that you were not physically able to comply with the hospital's rule. They made the rule; they need to figure out ways to make it happen. I highly doubt you were the first new mother who needed a wheelchair ride to her car.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Jules1980

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 11:13:04 AM »
As a person who works in an outpatient unit, we require a parent or guardian to stay with anyone under 18.  We have this rule because our patient are usually there from 8-12 hours depending on when they arrive and leave, and God forbid any emergency situation arise, anyone younger than 18 can't sign themselves in for care.  However, we do not require that the parent sit in the room 100% of the time.  If they want to run smoke or get something to eat, we'll watch the child, no problems.  We also have cameras in our rooms as our exams have to be recorded, so older kids we just watch through the camera, but babies and toddlers, we have no problems going in the room with.

qestia

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 11:23:24 AM »
I think this is a good question. MY DS, like a previous poster's, was admitted to the hospital as a newborn for jaundice and spent about 24 hours under the bili lights. We weren't allowed to hold him, of course, and he just slept about 22 hours a day due to his newness and jaundice. The nurses said we could leave if we needed to, so we left him there and got dinner at a restaurant across the street. We did tell them our plans, and were probably gone 30 min. When we came back the nurse said "you guys must have really wanted a babysitter" or something like that. DS had of course not woken or moved in that time. It was such a slap in the face, DS wasn't at death's door or anything, but he was my first born, in the hospital, we'd gotten to have him home less than 24 hours, it was not a happy situation... If they'd had a policy we needed to stay, or guidelines about leaving, that we violated, that would be one thing... but they didn't (as far as we were told).

Evil Duckie

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 11:31:27 AM »
I can't see a problem with the nurse watch your little one for a short time while you go to the restroom or get something to eat. They do not want you to become a patient.

I know that DS#2 was an inpatient I was regularly told by the nurses to go get something to eat or take a break for a short time and they would keep en eye on him.

gramma dishes

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2010, 12:10:02 PM »


The most guilt I felt was when Leo was being discharged, he had to be put into his carseat before they would let us leave. (hospital policy.) I couldn't carry his carseat with him in it and walk the distance to the elevator to the parking garage - I was still very weak from giving birth to him, and so I had to ask them to take me in a wheelchair to the parking garage. I really felt guilty then.  :-\

Where I live it is hospital policy to have EVERY mother and infant wheeled out of the hospital to the waiting car.  It has something to do with insurance.  (If the mother slips/trips and falls the hospital is responsible or something like that.)  So that's the one part I think you should feel least guilty about.  It may be just standard procedure for all mothers and babies!

Jocelyn

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2010, 12:17:32 PM »

The most guilt I felt was when Leo was being discharged, he had to be put into his carseat before they would let us leave. (hospital policy.) I couldn't carry his carseat with him in it and walk the distance to the elevator to the parking garage - I was still very weak from giving birth to him, and so I had to ask them to take me in a wheelchair to the parking garage. I really felt guilty then.  :-\

Don't.
When I worked in a hospital, this was always one of the primo jobs. You get to get off the unit, generally the patient is happy and talkative, and it's the dotting the i's and crossing the t's of a successful case. And it was ALWAYS pleasanter than whatever was going to be the next chore.  >:D

kherbert05

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2010, 12:22:31 PM »
Per my sister who works in the hospital
Outpatient - Especially if unexpected like the OP. Let them know you haven't eaten and are running down to get something to bring up. (or eat very quickly if you don't want to eat in front of the child because s/he can't eat). Prefered that you not leave the facility because if something goes wrong you need to be there to give permission for treatment.

Inpatient - make sure you give full contact info, when you need to leave to eat, sleep, shower, work. If possible have someone there while child is awake. Also don't judge/be rude to parents that have to leave, even when child is awake. Some kids have chronic conditions and the hospital is "normal" for them. Parents sometimes don't have leave and will lose their jobs if they take off. The family still needs to eat and have a place to live.
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hot_shaker

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2010, 12:28:54 PM »
This thread is very interesting to me.

I figured parents would stay with their children because they wanted to but I never realized that they had to stay.  I would have guessed that "childcare" is the duty of the nurses in the pediatric units.  I put childcare in quotes because I don't think newborns are doing too much and older kids are, well, sick and probably not super active.

Huh, guess I just never realized.  Are age maximums for these rules?  Is it just for toddlers and babies?  Do you have to spend every second with your 17 year old?

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wolfie

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2010, 12:48:01 PM »
Per my sister who works in the hospital
Outpatient - Especially if unexpected like the OP. Let them know you haven't eaten and are running down to get something to bring up. (or eat very quickly if you don't want to eat in front of the child because s/he can't eat). Prefered that you not leave the facility because if something goes wrong you need to be there to give permission for treatment.

Inpatient - make sure you give full contact info, when you need to leave to eat, sleep, shower, work. If possible have someone there while child is awake. Also don't judge/be rude to parents that have to leave, even when child is awake. Some kids have chronic conditions and the hospital is "normal" for them. Parents sometimes don't have leave and will lose their jobs if they take off. The family still needs to eat and have a place to live.

We've come a really long way from way back when they used to request parents NOT come visit kids because it would upset them when the parents left again.

gramma dishes

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2010, 12:52:49 PM »
This thread is especially interesting to me because when my oldest child was around two (just two) she had to be hospitalized for three days for pneumonia.  At that time (circa 1971) the rules were that parents could NOT stay at the hospital with their sick child.  You had two sets of visiting hours, one in the morning the other in the afternoon.

She was left all alone in a huge 'ward' style room (6 beds) with no other kids and no adult company.  It was heartbreaking and truly awful for both her and for us.

I would have given anything if someone had been allowed to stay with her.

MrsO

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2010, 12:53:09 PM »
This thread is very interesting to me.

I figured parents would stay with their children because they wanted to but I never realized that they had to stay.  I would have guessed that "childcare" is the duty of the nurses in the pediatric units.  I put childcare in quotes because I don't think newborns are doing too much and older kids are, well, sick and probably not super active.

Huh, guess I just never realized.  Are age maximums for these rules?  Is it just for toddlers and babies?  Do you have to spend every second with your 17 year old?
In the UK (at least where I am) parents aren't required to stay with the kid. When BabyO was hospitalized last year, DH and I didn't leave him alone, but there were parents who left their kids over night, or even for most of the day.

sweetgirl

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2010, 12:54:25 PM »
I kinda felt bad for the older kids cause they couldnt leave the ward,even to go use the internet. But rules are rules. I think the age for no parent being expected to stay was 12 or 13,though some kids parents stayed. One of the nurses told me that,given the area that I live,that it was uncommon for parents not to stay as most of the kids were of a culture where someone was generally available however they understood that it wasnt always an option. The last thing I needed though was the head nurse making me feel like I was abandoning my child because I went home when he was sleeping. If it had been short term than I could have stayed, or a private room given so that I could have the baby with me. Once they knew it was not an option they didnt mention it again. It wasnt really a requirement than an assumed responsibility I believe. All this coming from a rough night with him...well...serves you right when you force him to nap when I told you that he doesnt have them.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2010, 01:02:03 PM »
When we came back the nurse said "you guys must have really wanted a babysitter" or something like that.

I don't understand this part.  They were unhappy you left and are saying that's why your child was in the hospital -- so you'd have a break from parenting?

Danismom

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2010, 01:26:02 PM »
OP, I would've encouraged you to see if you could order a tray to be brought to the room if the child was also able to eat, since you don't want to eat in front of a child who can't.  Otherwise, I would've asked the staff what they recommended you do in that situation.  Then they could volunteer to watch your child while you go eat.  They might also have had box lunches for parents that you just needed to ask to receive. 

As to hospitals requiring a parent with a child at all times...

Our pediatric unit requires that all children younger than 13 have someone with them, but it doesn't have to be a parent.  They will look the other way if the person sitting with a school age child steps out to go to the restroom/vending machines.  But if the child is younger than that (but not newborn/nursery) if the child is left alone the riot act will be read.  This is for the child's safety and security. 

If hospitalizations are fairly routine or lengthy, the expectation is that the parents will have a network of friends/family to help them either with the hospitalized child or other children at home.  But when it comes down to brass tacks, nursing is staffed so that each pedi nurse generally has 3 patients.  They can't ignore the others to watch yours.  You are responsible for tending to your child at home and ensuring their safety at the hospital as well.  Nurses are medical caregivers not babysitters.  If you need a babysitter, then you need to hire one.


camlan

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Re: Asking a nurse to watch your child when your child is the patient.
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2010, 01:28:11 PM »
I can see why in the Emergency Department they would want a parent with the child--EDs are frequently very busy, with not a lot of staff free to stay with one patient for hours. And the parent would be needed to sign off on any medical treatments. But still, if the child is there for hours, the parent needs to be spelled for a bit for bathroom breaks and food, and maybe to make some phone calls out of the child's hearing.

But if a child is admitted to the hospital, the hospital needs to be able to give the child the care he/she needs. Not all parents can stay at the hospital 24/7 and even if they could, they need to eat and sleep at some point. Sometimes there are other children at home who need a parent around. The distance of the hospital from the home can make a difference--when my nephew has had his surgeries, he's been in a hospital that is 500 miles from his home, because that's where the one doctor could be found who could diagnose his condition. Both his parents are there for the surgery and a few days after, with the extended family looking after the other kids, but at some point, at least one parent has to get back to work and the other kids have to get back to school.

In the US, not all companies give medical leave, and those that do often only offer unpaid leave. If one parent has to work, and the other parent is home with a healthy child (who cannot be allowed in the patient's room), you simply aren't going to have a parent there the greater part of the day. Heck, sometimes the parents need to discuss things and they'd simply like not to be interrupted constantly by medical staff or be overheard by non-family members, so they need to leave the hospital for an hour or so.

I'm alarmed by the fact that hospital staff might be judging parents based on how much time they can spend with a child in the hospital. It's perfectly possible for a horrible parent to be there 24/7, just to make sure the kid doesn't tell anyone how abused he/she might be at home. Hours logged beside a hospital bed is not a good way to determine good or bad parenting skills.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn