Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hospital Tips

As some of you know I am a pediatric nurse at Scottish Rite at Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta
I have been there over 6 years and wanted to tell you about my job.

The patients I work with have all kinds of medical conditions. Some of my patients have brain tumors, spina bifida, spinal cord issues, CP, seizure and other neuro issus. I also work with cranialfacial/plastic surgery patients such as cleft lip/palate, facial deformities and other things

Because of my job and the fact that we are adopting from CHina, I have gotten to know dozens of families who have come in for various surgeries. I know some of you will need surgery for your child after you get back from China and I wanted to share some inside info for you. Please let me know if I can help you in anyway.

1) EMLA or ELAMAX- this is numbing cream that can be used before shots, IV's. Ask for this or head to your doctor and ask for some before you head to the hospital. Its good and it works but sometimes taking the tape that covers it off hurts.

2) If your IV comes out, ask if it really needs to be restarted. Most antibiotics can be switched to oral forms and if your child is handling drinking okay, there's no need to stick him or her again. At the same time, you may need an IV for pain meds. Advocate for your child.

3) If your child needs morphine, ask if they can also give tylenol. Tylenol plus morphine has a much longer lasting effect

4) welcome sleeves- if you are having facial surgery, the dr may order these so your child wont pull at the stitches. Your child may hate these, but sometimes they are necessary.

5) the more you freak out, the more your child will freak out

6) each parent needs a break while in the hospital. Even if its just walking around the hallway, get some fresh air

7) once you get home, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

8) anesthesia can take as little as 1 hour or as long as 12 to wear off

9) it will be okay

10) If you are having your surgery in Atlanta, please let me know


Brad & Lisa Mathson said...

Thank you so much for these helpful tips. My husband and I have just told our agency that we would be interested in joining the list for SN. So, finding this today was perfect timing for me. I would love to keep your email so I can contact you further should the need arise. Can you please contact me personally so I can get your email?
Thank you so much.

Kim & Jeff said...

These are such good tips that everyone should know...

Kelley said...

Thanks for the post--I know it will be helpful for lots of folks!

The Straight's said...

Thanks for the tips. I sure hope you are working April 7th!

Janelle said...

this is so good to know! and timely - lately I've been having some anxiety about the possibility of a child needing surgery after adoption. okay - I can handle it!

Shelly & Family! said...

Thank you for the post! I am sure I am going to have a lot of questions once Sofia comes home...

Trixie said...

Can I just say that this was one of the best posts I have ever read? Useful. Reassuring.