Befriending the staff

Hospitals are staffed by many wonderful and some not-so-wonderful people. Many parents find that their heightened stress makes them less tolerant of inefficiency or confusion. As discussed in Chapter 6, Forming a Partnership with the Medical Team, your child derives a greater sense of security if you and the staff can find a way to work together, rather than become adversaries. For example, if a parent does things like help change soiled bedding, take out food trays, and give baths, it can free up overworked nurses to take care of medicines and IVs.

As soon as possible, learn about the shift changes on the oncology floor. If you need to leave during the day or night, don't leave a request with one nurse if another will be coming on duty soon. If you have a request or reminder, you can post it on the childs door, on the wall above the bed, or on the chart.

I always made a point of introducing myself to my daughter's nurse and resident for each shift. I told them my child's name and which room we were in. I told them that I would be there the whole time and that I would help as much as I could. I tried to talk to them about non-hospital matters to give them a break from their routine, as well as to get to know them. I thanked them for any kindnesses and told them I appreciated how hard their jobs were. Although I wasn't angling for favors, I found that they soon came to like me and helped me out whenever any difficulty arose.

Although there were a few that I didn't care for, on the whole I found the staff members to be warm, caring, dedicated people.

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