Shaken Baby - page 3

I am a senior in a BSN program and the last couple of days make me wonder if I can in fact be a nurse. In my clinical I took care of a newborn baby that was suspected to have been shaken to the point... Read More

  1. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I am so very sorry for you - this is a tragedy. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. However, if you continue to have difficulty with this situation, please share your feelings with a counselor or a trusted instructor.
    I second this. Seek help if this continues to really trouble you to the point of inability to become a nurse. You did nothing wrong. Sadly you will see more situations like this as a nurse. You will have to learn your limits as to what really is within your control, and what is not.

    I am so sorry. This makes me beyond angry. I would do anything for one more baby myself.
  2. by   fleur-de-lis
    I think you are just the kind of person that needs to be in peds nursing. It is not possible to make a difference in the life of every patient that you encounter, but if at the end of your career you have made a true difference in the life of just one - then you have done something special. With your passion, I am sure you will have an impact on many children.

    If you are passionate about this, you might look into volunteering to be a children's advocate through the courts, if your area has something like this. It is basically someone impartial who volunteers to speak only on behalf of the child in this type case. The social worker often has the entire family to consider, the child advocate has only the child.
  3. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from fleur-de-lis
    I think you are just the kind of person that needs to be in peds nursing. It is not possible to make a difference in the life of every patient that you encounter, but if at the end of your career you have made a true difference in the life of just one - then you have done something special. With your passion, I am sure you will have an impact on many children.

    If you are passionate about this, you might look into volunteering to be a children's advocate through the courts, if your area has something like this. It is basically someone impartial who volunteers to speak only on behalf of the child in this type case. The social worker often has the entire family to consider, the child advocate has only the child.

    Here's the info for the Court Appointed Special Advocate program. I'm considering this myself.

    National CASA
  4. by   Wellness RN
    royr,
    What a gut wrenching story. I feel your pain.
  5. by   kukukajoo
    Other than go down and shake the social workers and their bosses like the baby was shaken I don't think that you could do anything any differently.

    You are a caring and compassionate nurse and we need people like you! Please do not let this discourage you, rather take all those emotions and turn it into something good. Get invloved with social agencies that lobby for the protection of children. I used to babysit for free the children of parents like this so that they could take mandatory parenting classes and was on a local childrens advocacy board. Once college is thru I plan on resuming these roles and more as a nurse to help our kids.

    I know your frustration- I have seen it twice. Once while sitting for above kids, a little boy had definate red welted handprints on his bottom, legs and backside. I had to report this and yes the police stormed her home with DCYF but she kept the kids and being the next day the red welts were gone. No proof and the boy was only 2- left with his mom.

    I also know of a case where a junkie mom who neglected her son to the point where he was underweight was able to OD in front of him like 4 times!! They just told her not to do it again!! Evidently you can be caught shooting up in front of your kids and just be told it aint smart and they walk away.

    Needless to say, I can't wait to be in a position to lobby for changes and kids rights. That is the only thing we can do. Maybe telling this story would help bring changes in the system. Honestly I can't imagine that they let the baby go home with the family!!
  6. by   rach_nc_03
    One of my first patients as a PICU nurse was a shaken infant (maybe 3 weeks old). The DA wasn't able to press charges for attempted murder because they didn't have enough data about who shook the baby nearly to death. The only way that was going to happen was if the baby died.

    This poor kid was never going to regain any function. He was incapable of surviving off of the ventilator. We took pictures of him to submit to the DA, trying to get the court to have care withdrawn. That wasn't happening, so the plan was to send him home to specialized foster care. Several potential foster parents came in to be interviewed, but they all left in tears after seeing him. Not one said they could handle it. The baby eventually died in the hospital, and I'm not sure what happened to the parents.

    It was hard to see this. I'm sure this was incredibly difficult for you. I agree with the other posters encouraging you to seek out a trusted advisor or counselor so you can talk about how this is affecting you. It sounds like your actions and intentions were the best they could possibly have been. I've worked with nurses who simply didn't want assignments with these kids because they couldn't control the anger they felt towards the abuser. You sound like someone who would really shine in pediatrics. Seeing abuse patients is hard for everyone- the important thing is learning how to process your own feelings about the situation so you can provide effective care, and keep your sanity.
  7. by   SoontobeAdrienneRN
    I'm completely with you! But you definitely shouldn't give up. This should only reinforce everything you've been doing so far. You were one of the incredible people who were fighting for this little one, that's what the nursing profession is about. And you exuded that in all ways possible! When you continue on in your career just never forget about those babies and even adults that got "the short end of the stick" because its people like you who make the difference. Keep your head up sweetie, you can do it!
  8. by   leslie :-D
    the irony of cps, is mind-boggling.
    generally, i have seen well-meaning parents prosecuted and scum-for-parents, vindicated.
    anger-mgmt my arse.
    parents that do this are useless in my book.

    you did everything humanly possible to help.
    there will always be some who fear getting involved and so, do the wrong thing.
    there are some who feel defeated by the horrible system, and authorize release of the baby (to the parents), knowing there is little they can do.
    i've actually had a couple of (hospice) pts who i strongly suspected, were being abused and i was told by my superiors, to mind my own business.

    people are funny creatures.
    and yes, i'm being polite.

    leslie
  9. by   sissyboo
    I feel so sorry for you. You sound like you will make a wonderful nurse. Unfortunately, Children and Family Services can not always get it all done though. Atleast the little one is in a better place now.
  10. by   salseranurse
    You have chosen a profession that is not always kind to our psyche. But you can overcome the guilt and shame by continuing on the path you have carved out and looking for other opportunities to make a difference. You are special. You are a Nurse.
  11. by   jesika23
    I am sorry to hear about that poor baby. Honestly I don't think there was anything else you could have done. I would have been devastated as well. I have a two year old and I couldnt imagine someone doing that to my child. I wouldnt give up on your dreams there are bad thing that happen in this world and we cannot always prevent them, but you are one of the special few in this world who actually cares. If we didnt have people to give us hope and help in a great time of need where would we be.
  12. by   DDRN4me
    It is nurses like you who need to be in this profession... you did everything you could for him. Unfortunately, the system ensures that the "family" is maintained as much as possible and without "proof "that the baby was shaken by the parents , they will try and keep the "family" together :angryfire
    i spent many years battling such a system. As a matter of fact one of the social workers i used to work with just committed suicde..poor thing had had enough of the strife of this world :angryfire

    Please do not give up on your career , we need more loving caring nurses to stand up for these little ones!!!
  13. by   nicunana
    You did everything possible at the time, but now you can do even more! Harness that anger & sadness and work within the system for change. Write to your congressman, senator, governor & director of DCFS. Courts ARE beginning to hold DCFS responsible for bad judgment calls. This death is now a matter of public record, so ask some leading questions & request a full investigation. While it won't bring back the life of your precious little patient, it may save another child from the same fate. On behalf of these little ones, who can not speak for themselves, we must be their advocates! I am so sorry that you had to go through this, but please think of this as an opportunity to improve the plight of others.

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