At 4:30 pm yesterday, I put on my scrubs, signifying my comfort in taking off the “mom hat” and putting on the “medical mom advocate hat”.
As parents, we wear a lot of hats- the protector hat, the teacher hat, the taxi hat, the counselor hat, the nurse hat, and on and on the joylist goes.
As it would go, we took Kadyn to the ER for extreme pain, so I put on the “medical mom advocate hat”; in my reality…. they are scrubs.
Putting on scrubs for me is like an athlete putting on the jersey, or an officer putting on her uniform. It’s go time.
I believe that I am a spirit having a human experience. My spiritual assignment right then in that moment was being a medical-mom-advocate.
Undeniably, ”medical-mom-advocate” is a bit of a trickier hat to wear, as I need to be both loving towards Kadyn & able to to take his mind off the pain with puppets of stories, while simultaneously bring an authentic energy of kind authority and expertise on my patient to whatever doctor or staff member may walk through the door.
I want to be able to chat with ER doctors and world class surgeons with a humble expertise, while comforting Kadyn, instead of letting myself get lost in the anxiety of the moment.
Not today fear. I have and hold no time or space or energy for that anymore. It serves no one.
Accordingly, the energy that supports healing does not work collaboratively with fear, irritation, & hostility.
As fate would have it, 12:01 am this morning, I turned into someone else….
My teenagers would have called her Karen.
I call her Mama Bear.
Nevertheless, the surgical department had cleared Kadyn to go home, stating they didn’t believe, (based on our imaging and labs), that he was in an emergency situation and he could go home to heal.
……..That was two hours earlier.
Standing outside room ten where Kadyn was temporarily housed, I spoke the words, “I’d like to speak to your floor manager”.
Yep, I said it.
Unquestionably, the nurse that had been with us for the past six hours looked at me without surprise, as if silently raising three fingers in solidarity.
Gosh I love nurses. ❤️
All things considered, she said that yes, she could call the floor manager, but that probably wouldn’t be the fastest way to go about what I was trying to accomplish, which was getting discharge papers.
Of course, my next question marked the obvious desire, ”where we were at in process of getting discharged?”
Our nurse Steph said that the papers were with Dr. Lori, and that she had asked Dr. Lori multiple times to sign them. (I’ve changed their names for appreciation of privacy.)
Okay. Next question…..
“Where is Dr. Lori now?”
Steph pointed cautiously to the Doctor a few steps away, sitting & eating what appeared to be a cheeseburger in front of the computer.
I looked over with fierce determination.
All five feet, one inch of me waltzed over to the station.
“Dr. Lori”. I prompted a response.
“Yes”, the doctor looked up from her computer with a mouth full of cheeseburger, quite literally.
“I’m Kadyn Reynold’s mom in room ten and I’m wondering what the ETA for discharge papers and medport deaccess are. We were cleared to leave a couple of hours ago.”
“Yes, we are just printing those now. I’m coming in right now,” she replied as she put down the cheeseburger and wiped her hands on her scrubs.
I looked at the burger and then back at her with one raised eyebrow I couldn’t seem to control.
“Thank you”, I said with a forced smile, trying my darnest to hide my irritation…. at midnight.
Nurse Steph and Dr. Lori came in to room ten promptly behind me as I told Kadyn that we could go home soon.
They apologized and said they were super busy, and that’s not excuse, but that they did want to apologize.
I offered the belief of mine that it isn’t their issue to apologize for. They are doing the best they can with the workload they are given, but the system has cracks.
This isn’t my first rodeo.
They agreed with me wholeheartedly, and gave me a patient relation card to contact patient advocacy, saying that they as staff don’t get listened to as much as parent complaints, that management needs to know what’s going on.
I told them I fully intend to take this to management, and that I’ve got Hailey (from Patient Relations) number saved in my phone.
Mistakes get made when proper systems are not in place….and in healthcare, those “mistakes” are sometimes called malpractice.
It prompts questions in my mind- like how often is the upper management that makes policy and scheduling protocols actually in the rooms with patients for six hours while the kids are crying and parents are trying their best to keep them kid calm.
“That’s just the ER, Christina.” One might say.
And more importantly…..let’s address the elephant in the room, the fact that it only has to remain this way as long as we allow it.
The cracks need to be filled. The gap needs to be bridged. And I intend to learn how.
I intend to be a bridge that can speak to all parties.
Parents….. Staff don’t deserve to be treated like shit because you are tired of waiting.
Staff….. Thank you for your care of our kids. We love and appreciate you. ❤️
Management……. Let’s talk. DM me for a meeting. I’ve got some ideas for you. Legit.
In response to Dr. Lori’s apology for forgetting the labs and leaving a sick kid and tired parents sitting in a room for hours without an update……
I forgive you. 💓 I can empathize with your overwhelm and workload, and I have a healthy anger for you that you are so busy and understaffed that you are forced to shove food down at a desk….
You save lives….in an emergency room…..you’re a hero. At the very least, you should get thirty minutes in a break room to shove food down in peace, listen to an audio book, call your kids, mediate and recenter……..
After all…..you are saving lives!
I’m going on a mission for you Dr Lori, and for Steph, and for Kadyn, and every other family that sits in a hospital where the system is broken.
What is happening now is not good patient and family care, it’s not good care for doctors and nurses, it’s not good for hospital moral or reputation, it’s just not good all around.
We need a change, and my success is inevitable in helping bridge the gap between patient & family, and staff and administration. 🔥🔥🔥
If you’re still with me, thanks for coming to my TED talk. I’ll be on a stage near you soon. 😘