I came into the hospital, I was scared, and even though I was nine
old, I still sucked my thumb. Thanks for not embarrassing me about it,
and for putting the IV in my other arm!"
didn't tell me that you were leaving and that somebody else was going
be my nurse 'til I went to sleep. I wish you would have told me
and told me about the new nurse."
I didn't feel like drinking and everyone was mad at me, you told me
we could have a tea party. Then you poured the juice into two little
cups--one for me, and one for you. That was fun, and I was able to
three of them!"
think that you should tell kids what the words mean that you use. Here
are some that sure confused me...'n.p.o., stool, ambulate, and
parents had to go home because of my two little brothers, and I was
My room mate had gone home, too. You let me help you instead of making
me stay alone in my room. I hope all kids get to have you for their
needed to get an x-ray, and I was afraid that my Daddy wouldn't find me
when he came to visit. You told me that you would put a big sign on my
door that he wouldn't miss to tell him where I was. That was great,
he saw it, and he didn't worry about me!"
you can't get an IV in my vein in one stick, just forget about it! My
said that my arm looks like a pincushion!"
here's a tip. My nurse took me on a fantasy trip when my back was
a lot. We went on a magic carpet ride, and visited wonderful calm
I had never done that before, and it made me feel so much better.
take everybody in the hospital on fantasy trips when they're not
you, the hospital system would crumble. You are such a source of care,
of compassion and of love for all of us. You are shining lights in this
bewildering darkness. "
I had to get stitches taken out, you stayed with me and helped me blow
bubbles. What a strange thing to do in a hospital. I think that this is
the greatest tip, though. It really helped me!"
all nurses, please be kind and understanding, just like my nurse. When
everyone else was cross with me for crying, she was the only one who
and talked to me and asked me what was wrong. It made me feel a lot
and then everyone wasn't mad with me any more."
wish you would use my type of words when they talk to me. Stools are
not something I thought I was supposed to give someone to test, and
with this flushing ivies?”
you for not stabbing me with the needle and for telling me that it
hurt once it was in. You were very gentle when you poked my arm, and I
really appreciated it."
You told me you’d be back in a few minutes to do a dressing change. I
the whole time wondering what sort of clothes you were going to make me
wear. Please remember to teach me about all these odd words.”
I had great nurses! Instead of waking me up at night for a respiratory
treatment by turning on the lights, one of them would whistle my
song really softly and the other one would tap my cheek ever so
I didn't wake up, she'd just slipped on the mask gently and carefully.
I hope that you'll use one of their tricks for kids. They work!"
found that something very amusing to do in the hospital is to keep a
of your silly thoughts or even your most private ones, decorate it, and
share it with someone. On my longest stay in the hospital, I had
a nurse who helped me do one. It's really fun and gives the
the kid's point of view."
teenagers are preparing for a big procedure, please talk to them by
There may be some questions they wouldn't be comfortable asking in
of their parents. I'm not saying that parents shouldn't be involved -
should. I'm just saying that you need to respect your patients'
and talking to them alone is a good wayto do that. If you do that,
me, they'll feel like they are more in control. It's scary when
life seems to be spinning out of control, you know that?"
wish that you and the doctors would talk to one another. And when
you need to take blood, think about how it must feel, because it is not
"I wish all my RNs knew that when my oxygen sats
drop it feels like something hurts but I can't tell what exactly. I
tell my nurse that I'm in pain, but I can't locate where the pain is.
The nurse, understandably, isn't quite sure how to help. I
never realized before what was really going on...so I couldn't just
say I feel like I'm desaturating. Now I know, so wanted you to,
please... if you're asking questions about how I feel, what's going on
body, or any of that, ask ME.
I'm the one feeling
it, how can my dad tell you that?
Yes I really am 17. Being sick has
stunted my growth. I know I'm short! Treat me like the responsible
human being I am, please....
The first time I went in for an
iron infusion (I'm anaemic) I was worried,
and tired. It meant sitting in hospital for the whole day, missing
not being able to do anything. You put my drip up and were great: you
me about the infusion, showed me what it looked like, explained how it
and even decided to put it in my arm instead of my hand allowing me to
even managed to do some work while I was there. You also kept coming to
up on me - something you didn't have to do as it was just a drip.
Sadly my second
infusion was much worse. I miss you!
When sticking needles in me,
remember all the times you had to have
and when you stick them in my muscles they HURT.
The plan was for me to go home
Friday and my whole family
was excited. Well.... everyone except me. I was still having a lot of
that freaked me out. I was afraid the infection was back in full force,
also felt like I had to be happy about going home. I was relieved when
my aside and asked what was wrong. Also, thanks for talking to my
me. I didn't enjoy re-doing the labs and x-rays but it was way better
than the possibility of another trip to the ER.
<>I have CP. most of
the time people with CP have the
same startle reflex as babies even when they are older. When I get
cover my ears, I always have. When I lie on my back my arms want to be
up the way a baby's do too. So, I really
appreciated it when you put my
IV in my hand instead of my forearm.>
I'll carry you
over to the
Do you have some
for nurses? If you do, I hope that you'll mail them to me in this
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
New York 10468
updated: June 2, 2008