After viewing this image of my sweet little nephew’s hand, I just can’t stand idly by without sharing this important message with you. Look closely at this image and read the description. At first glance, you might think it’s a severe burn. However, the sad truth is, he got this WHILE he was in the hospital. At only 16 months old while in recovery from his minor surgery, he was giving a very common procedure, called an intravenous drip or more commonly referred to as a catheter. It was inserted incorrectly, causing the fluid to travel up his hand and into his shoulder, which is known as an IV infiltration. This was not only careless, but it could have been life threatening.
Here’s the part I hope all parents reading this will pay attention too. It wasn’t a doctor, a nurse, or any hospital staff that caught this mistake, it was his mother! My sis-in-law not only trusted her motherly instincts, she stood up for him and insisted the nursing staff take immediate action, my brother is certain that this saved his life! My poor sweet nephew will likely have that painful scar the rest of his life now.
Why am I making such a fuss about this? Is it because I have no faith in medicine, doctors or nurses? Absolutely NOT! On the contrary, I have the utmost respect for those who work in the field of medicine. I have very close friends and family members who are nurses in fact. I know how difficult and tedious their days can be, not to mention overworked and sleep deprived. They work hard, too hard.
Instead, what I want to make clear to you all, is to not take for granted that because someone has a degree on the wall that cost more than your mortgage, that they in fact know more than you do about your health and the health of your children. My own pediatrician has even told me that mothers should trust their gut instinct because, odds are, they’re more accurate than his diagnosis. Here are some points to consider when dealing with doctors and nurses:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions; your kid, your body, your right.
- Be familiar with ALL prescriptions you take and/or your children take. When given any new prescriptions ask your pharmacist: “Is there anything that will conflict with my (or my childs) current meds? Also, will the prescription you were given by your doctor, actually help with your diagnosed problem? (for example there are many different forms of antibiotics and some are designed to work more effectively than others, depending on what part of the body it is helping and the actual diagnosis.)
- Arm yourself with knowledge; research, research, research! I’m betting most doctors hate the internet for some patients. (Seriously, though, how many of us have tried to diagnosis ourselves to death through websites like WebMD, #GuiltyAsCharged)
- Stand up for yourself and your child! It’s okay to turn down a prescription or question a diagnosis or procedure (or the lack of one). Sometimes you may feel like not enough is being done, get a second opinion if that’s what feels right to you.
- TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!
Again, I love my doctors and nurses, they work hard and frankly, I would be miserable without them. Nevertheless, nobody is perfect and doctors (especially specialists) are not Gods by any means (even if some act like they are…lol!)
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to be an advocate for your child or a loved one? Share your experience please! Comment below on any similar experiences you or someone you know has had.
*originally published Aug 14, 2013
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As the founder of Why Not Mom; a unique online directory of mom-owned boutiques and mom-invented products, Tonia has strived to create a unique organization of female business owners, creating a diverse network that assists each other in driving more business to one another, in addition to providing tools and resources to achieve success in their business endeavors. It is her passion to make Why Not Mom the world’s largest online directory of women-owned businesses in the pursuit of strengthening families and supporting small business owners worldwide.