A note from this PICU RN to the parents of my young patients:
You may never know your full impact during your time of crisis. Although it is most certainly not your intention, you are profoundly affecting those around you and your child.
When you kiss your baby as you send them into surgery, I learn about surrender and trust.
When your family suffers due to an accident, I want to strive to make the world a safer place.
When your acts of violence or cruelty sent your child into my care, I tremble in anger at injustice and ignorance.
When you educate me on the specifics of your chronically ill child, I know that every child is unique, precious, and deserves unfailing love.
When you joke with me on a night I really didn’t want to come in to work, you lighten my load.
When you incomprehensibly ask me about my day in the midst of your tragedy, you teach me about selflessness.
When your friends and family rally around you and lift you up, I see love and community in action.
When you reach for your Bible in your hour of greatest need, you point me to the Source of all hope.
When you involve me in the most intimate of goodbyes, I am humbled to be on sacred ground.
When hope is lost for your child’s life and you bring up the ultimate gift before being approached, my knees buckle in awe.
When you leave the unit with aching empty arms, I know that I must cherish every single moment with my loved ones.
When you commend my co-workers, I recognize that I am shoulder-to-shoulder with greatness.
When you express gratitude for the care that I am giving, I dig deeper to give more than I knew I could.
When you send pictures of your now healthy child or stop by for a visit, I remember why I chose this profession and specialty.
Dear parents, you may never know who you are affecting in the very times that you feel the most helpless.
Often your grace and faith in those unspeakable circumstances can astound even the “seasoned” professionals surrounding you and your child. You affect us, and you affect your community.
You force us to face our worst fears and inspire us to step forward with courage into this heartbreaking but hopeful world.
Has your child ever been hospitalized? What made their stay easier or more difficult?