congratulations on the birth of your child!!!!!! i had a great experience with my c-section, and i can't help but think about it with your post, but that isn't really what you want to hear, is it? altho i WANTED to keep it a secret that i was a nurse, right from my pre-op registration, to holding re-surgery to surgery to post op to every aid and RN i had, the first freakin thing out of their mouth was "so you're a nurse!" it was a little embarrassing because i wanted to be a "good" patient and face it, we hate having nurses as patients (not as much as having patients with nurses as family members but that is another thread...).
it is so disturbing to read your post for so many reasons. what you wrote says so much about nursing. why were your needs dismissed? how many of us consider ourselves good, caring nurses and would never think we acted that way but had our actions or words misinterpreted? i am in no way excusing your treatment, but what if the instructor who dismissed your concern about the IV believed by waving off your concern believed by acting nonchalant about it thought that it would be reassuring to you if you knew SHE wan't worried. you know how patients pick up on our reactions--if they think we are worried then they worry. or maybe the nurse who only gave you tylenol was afraid of the narc getting thru your breast milk or had some crazy fear of getting you addicted. i don't know. i don't even believe my own words here, but i do think that people often mean to convey one message and a different one is received. i guess i am hoping that their intentions were good, but it came out wrong.
it could be that they just sucked. and if they sucked--why? there is no excuse, and i am sorry about your experience, but i would still want to know why it sucked. morale? out-dated beliefs on pain control? did a patient recently get overmedicated and everyone is freaked out now? stingy MD? why in the world they didn't give you toradol is beyond me. i have what i would consider an average to maybe below average pain thresh hold and i got 'round the clock toradol with the occasional vicodan.
i think as a fellow professional, it is your OBLIGATION to us to write a letter. it should be sent to the Chief Nursing Officer or whoever is head honcho of all nurses (probably not the CEO). i would recommend wording the letter in a way that doesn't make you sound like a whiney patient or a bitter nurse. of course, you should represent yourself as BOTH, but if the letter was worded less like a complaint and more like a paper you'd write for school or a magazine article, i think you would have the biggest impact. talk about the importance of pain management especially in the early post partum period. use your experience to illustrate. the need to explain rationale appropriately to patients as a way to calm there fears--be it the reason a u/a wasn't necessary (your symptoms sound like they could have been normal post op effects, but if that was explained to you i think you would have totally been fine with that) or why the air bubbles you saw were harmless. by the same token, you could offer that along with the education, allowing the patient a little control over things goes a long way to keeping a patient happy. the nurse could explain why the air bubbles were harmless, while flicking or drawing then out. if you had asked me about your symptoms and requested a u/a i wouldn't disrespect myself or my profession by just saying "derrrr, i guess i'll ask duh doctor" i would however, make it win-win. i would teach you what you needed to know, but leave the u/a cup in your room and say, i will mention it to dr. k and just in case dr. knowitall decides to go ahead and do a u/a you will have the cup right there and we can send it right in. you get to be the smarty pants, the patient gets to have control over a situation and the doc can ride in on her write horse and save the day with the order. basically you need to unemotionally state the problem, why it is a problem (evidence based practice, supporting research, standard of care, human decency) and what would be an appropriate solution.
again, i am so sorry for your experience. i suspect it was extra bad for you because you knew you would't ever treat anyone like that and didn't expect it for yourself! you will never regret speaking your mind. you might regret NOT speaking it.....good luck mamma!