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Double-Helix, BSN, RN 30,822 Views

Joined Apr 5, '11 - from 'New Jersey'. Double-Helix is a Nurse, Children's Hospital. She has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU'. Posts: 3,317 (54% Liked) Likes: 6,399

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  • May 23

    Quote from kschenz
    I'd be filing a report for medical neglect. She may not meet the requirements for an investigation but you will have done your part as a mandated reporter. Poor kid.
    This is what I just finished doing. The person was kinda snippy with me (I'm sure working at those phone centers is awful) but it is done

  • May 3

    "I finally can hear myself think".

  • May 1

    I still remember a patient from one of my clinicals (LPN) on a med-surg floor. I was assigned a stable patient post-colectomy who needed frequent wound care. She was fairly young, and in a lot of abdominal pain. It was personally affecting, because my mother has Crohn's (previous dx UC) and had been through multiple (partial then full colectomy with ileostomy, J-pouch with stoma reversal) surgeries when I was a child. The primary nurse was very busy and couldn't bring a PRN, and my instructor was somewhere busy with other students, so I ran to grab warm blankets for her to hold to her abdomen (flashbacks to those days playing by the couch, my mom curled up with a heating pad to ease the pain). I felt awful that I couldn't do more for her in that moment. But - it helped. Afterwards, she thanked me and said, "You're going to be a great nurse." The feeling of problem solving something I didn't have full control over and seeing the emotional relief of someone who's suffering has been noticed and at least somewhat relieved, that reaffirmed my choice to pursue a nursing career.

  • May 1

    I would say the night I was called into work to be 1:1 with a new resident who kept trying to roll his w/c out the door. I came in and one of the sons were there. I asked him to tell me about his father, the work he did, hobbies, children,grandchildren just in case I would need to talk with him about anything to help him settle in. Son also told me they didn't realize that Dad was so bad as Mom kept the severity of his condition hidden. I also told him that in my experience it usually takes about 2 weeks to feel comfortable in a facility and will do better once that happens. He was also impressed that I would come in on a day off to sit with his father. Every time I saw the son after that night, he would tell people that I was an angel who helped them all that night. Not only could I be of help with the resident, but also the family.

  • May 1

    It's gonna sound bizarre, but when other nurses (who don't know I'm nurses) thank me for being patient/understanding when I'm a patient. Also what the PP said, the small thank you's from patients or family members.

  • Apr 30

    This isn't a glamorous story, but: 18 yr old girl, injured in a freak accident at her own graduation party. She'd arrived on my unit shortly before I came on. She was very fortunate -- she was blinded in one eye (optic nerve severed), but escaped what could have been a severe brain injury. She was naturally very scared, however. That a.m. towards the end of my shift, as I was showing her dad how to get to the caf, he said "She said she's really glad you were her nurse."

    When a TBI patient comes to visit us and say "thank you for saving my life" -- when s/he had been minimally responsive when she'd transferred to an LTACH months before.

    19 or 20 yr old young lady, deliberately run over by her boyfriend. Mom was devastated -- told me she knew she would get a phone call from a hospital someday. She wasn't one of those family members who interrogate staff, but was terrified. That first day, she was acting....regressive? "Mommy's here sweet baby girl," etc., would barely let go of her daughter's hand. On day 3, I had finally earned enough trust that Mom finally was able to go home and shower and sleep! That was very gratifying for me!

    My big worthy-of-TV moment: A woman a life-threatening condition, in the SICU after a caesarean birth. She was still intubated, VSS, but didn't look good from the get-go. A few hours later her HR started to slowly climb, BP started to slowly fall. My spidey sense told me it wasn't a simple need for fluid or blood products, and I told the resident I really feel uneasy about this one, and had she considered putting in a central line? She agreed... good thing, because about when she was finished was when the pt really started to decline. Within minutes, she coded, and began to require several pressors. She ended up getting an IABP at the bedside to buy some time to get to the OR (as her planned procedure was now emergent). I was still pushing epi and bicarb while rolling her into the OR! (Remember the Christopher Walken "more cowbell" SNL sketch? A picture of it popped into my head from all the "more epi," "more bicarb" from the code team leader. ) She came back on ECMO, and CRRT, with 2:1 nursing plus a perfusionist. And her baby has a mama.

    But most of the time, it's a simple "thank you" from someone on the worst day of their life. Those "thank yous" make it all worthwhile!

  • Apr 30

    As a relatively new grad, probably 1-2 years off orientation, I walked into a night shift and got told I was in charge. I told them I had no training and literally no idea what charge even does. I got told to suck it up, buttercup.

    It was me and 2 nurses who had about 6 months of experience, and 3 completely fresh new grads (literally less than a month off orientation). So total of 6 nurses for 36 patients, myself included. Not so bad, I mean, not great, but we'd all seen worse.

    2am, patient codes, it's open heart surgery so we code these people for absurd lengths of time, so anyway, I basically run this code for 10 minutes until anyone else bothers to show up, then we code the patient for another 30-40 minutes, she lives, I transport her to CCU, and then I'm in the elevator coming back up to my floor, I'd washed my hands but still had blood splashed up to my shoulders from post open heart CPR (messy). I cried in an elevator because I had been so afraid that if I had made even one error in those first 10 minutes, there was no backup to catch it. The weight of the responsibility was crippling for that 15 second elevator ride. And then I got my **** together, wiped my tears by the time the double doors opened, and went right back out there and helped my nurses write their code notes, catch up on patient care and charting, and try to provide emotional support to the nurse who had been caring for the patient who coded and tell her she did nothing wrong and didn't miss anything.

    At the time, I was scared out of my gourd, but I just ran on autopilot and did what needed to be done. I was so glad she was asystolic and it was an easy algorithm (kind of a crummy thing to be glad for, but what can you do?)

    When I think back, though...I proved myself on so many levels that night. I could handle a code, I could handle being in charge with no support, I could handle teaching and mentoring my staff, and nobody died. Those new grads remember that night and respect me for it to this day. The specifics of that night have honestly faded into the background for me, but the part where I could definitively say that I'm the reason that patient lived...that hasn't faded.

    That moment when you get someone back from a code.
    That moment when you surprise even yourself with your leadership, knowledge, and skill.
    That moment when you turn off the waterworks because your 15 seconds of feelings time are over and you've got to put on your brave face and help your peers.
    THAT is why I'm in this profession.

    (Yes, I realize this sounds really cocky. Just run with it. Sometimes nurses have to be confident.)

  • Apr 23


    I pulled the car to the side and put my hazard lights on.

    “Ok, where is this I have to go?” I asked the staffer at homecare.

    I jotted the address and put it in my GPS. That would be my last patient for the day.
    When I finally made it to the address, my heart sank. I was in the middle of the projects. Huge buildings, drunks and drugged out people sitting on the benches. An occasional family sat on a bench, soaking up the sun. I saw very few kids outside. People looked me up and down as I passed them, my homecare RN ID prominently displayed. I plastered a shaky smile and wished people good afternoon as I passed them. Some ignored me, some smiled and some looked vacantly on. I finally got into the building. I was going to Apt 124 K on the 17th floor. The warnings of never to take the stairs in the projects rang in my ears as I waited for the elevator. The elevator was small with a gate that I had to pull close. On the 17th floor the corridors were long with dim lighting. My heart in my throat I started walking trying to find the apartment.

    Every instinct screamed at me to turn back and leave but I forced my steps ahead. What would happen if someone yanked me into one of these apartments? No one would know. I would never see my family again I thought. I finally reached the apartment and rang the bell. No one answered. Hoping that the patient was not there, I rang the bell a couple more times. No answer. Relief coursed to me as I turned to escape back to the safety of my car and started walking.

    Behind me, the door opened and I heard “Wait! Don’t go”! I turned around and froze.
    A huge young black man stood at the door with a bare chest. His shorts were barely visible under his pendulous belly.

    “Are you the nurse?”

    “Yes, Good afternoon Peter! My name is Annie.” I masked my fear under a smile as I walked back towards him.

    “Come in” he turned back slowly and walked into the apartment.

    I hesitantly entered although my feet were trying to pull me in the opposite direction!
    The apartment was cold and bare. I looked around. He had disappeared. I walked past a kitchen and saw a door at the end of the corridor and walked to it. Something cold touched my leg and I looked down and saw a cat. I entered the room and found Peter sitting on the bed staring at me breathing hard. There was no other furniture except a TV and a few plastic milk crates. The cat followed me into the room. I hung my bag on the door.

    “I am sorry. I don’t have any place for you to sit. You could sit on the bed.” He said softly.

    “Thank you but I think I found a seat!”I stacked the milk crates together, put a newspaper from my bag on top and sat on it.

    “Thanks for opening the door”, I smiled looking him in the eye. Peter talked slowly and I realized that he was intellectually challenged. My brain went into high gear as I looked at him. He was short of breath and was breathing hard after minimal exertion. I could hear a slight wheeze across the room. Since all he had on was shorts, I could see his skin that was dry and the 3 plus edema on bilateral ankles. I saw a half-eaten Chinese takeout on his bed and a 2 liter Coke bottle on the floor.

    As I went through a homecare assessment and a physical exam, I knew that he was in the beginnings of respiratory failure. His weight, diet, isolation and inactivity did not help matters. He barely cooked and relied on neighbors buying him groceries but that was a hit or miss. His sister lived an hour away but had her own problems. He could not walk to the store but relied on takeout food which did not help his congestive heart failure or asthma.

    His black cat that he called Camper (he always wanted to go to summer camp but could not afford it) was his only company even though Camper made his asthma worse. When I checked his back, I saw a stage two pressure ulcer on his buttocks and rash under his belly and breast. I gave him a nebulizer treatment and taught him about asthma, prevention and treatment. I then sat there and made a few calls to help him. One was to his MD to increase his Lasix dose and get refills on all his meds and discuss plan of care and referrals I needed for Peter.

    The second one was to his pharmacy to set up home delivery. The third one was to my central base to put in an order for a hospital bed and special mattress. The fourth one was to the social service dept. for an assessment referral and to hook him up with community services like meals on wheels and para transit for transportation. I spend around two hours at his apartment. I was subbing for another nurse that called out.

    When I left, he hugged me and thanked me and said, “I wish you were my nurse!” I hugged him back and said, “Don’t worry! You are in good hands!”

    He had tears in his eyes as I walked out the door and out of his life.

    When I left the building, I looked back at it wondering how many more Peters lived in those building, all alone with no one to help them. I sat in my car and cried for Peter. I called back base and asked the director to put a compassionate nurse to take care of him as the perdiem RN who had him as a regular patient just went in, took vitals and left. The director promised to follow up. I thought about all my fears that had surfaced when I first saw him and I was ashamed of myself.

    Then I thought of how I felt when I left his apartment and felt happiness and satisfaction that I was able to help a fellow human being. I realized that I was put in a position to help or ignore his needs and was able to make the right choice, even though it took an extra hour. The danger I faced going into the projects was overshadowed by what I was able to accomplish. That day, I was proud to be a nurse!

  • Apr 17

    I work for Epic and have been through many Go Lives. It is always a challenge and a learning curve for users but the attitude with which one approaches the Go Live makes a world of difference. If you anticipate it to be awful it probably will be, but it's a good tool and can be helpful, but it just takes getting used to. If you go into it with an open mind, and anticipate that it's new and different, you'll have an easier time. Use your support staff to show you tips and tricks because they'll become very useful once the support staff have gone.

    I think it's unfair to say that the Epic team "have no idea what they're doing". I wish you could understand the sheer amount of work it takes for an informatics team to produce a successful Go Live. The thing about Epic is that it's not the same at every facility as it's built out for that individual facility from the foundation system. Therefore, the Go Live support team that are on the floor are facing that version of Epic for the first time the same as you are, and as they likely didn't build it, they might not know every single little thing about what and how you need to see data that day. The actual builders and analysts are usually sitting in the command center trying to fix build issues as they arise, and the people you see on the floor are contracted support staff trying to help you navigate through the system. Epic is a hugely complex and detailed interface. It's not possible to know every single thing about every single aspect, and if you have a question about something, it could have been built by any number of different teams. If you ask someone who built the cardiology documentation about the ambulatory piece, they might not know the answer, but they can find out. Epic is built in many pieces by specialized teams and it has to come all together as one single interface.

    Sure it's frustrating in the beginning when it's unfamiliar but in the end you'll see how useful a tool it is.

    As a trainer you won't be certified as such, as that's reserved for analysts like myself and requires three trips to Epic headquarters to do courses and take three exams. Only then can you become certified in a specific specialty. You will be credentialed as a trainer, and will be working off strictly scripted tip sheets teaching specific workflows that will be outlined for you. You just have to become familiar for that specific workflow for the area in which you work.

  • Apr 5

    Wow.. just got another update from the neighbors, the baby is off ECMO and has woken up, opening his eyes and reaches for the ventilator tubing, they say he will have the ventilator removed soon- AMAZING NEWS!!

    They think he will be ok... I am FLOORED... didn't expect this news- still worry if they are seeing reflexes or if he is actually awake but my goodness, that is a miracle!!

    this little boy was blue and cold when I got to him, I thought for sure the CPR I was doing was for not, that he was gone, so glad I was wrong.

  • Mar 29

    I had many years of nursing experience, including Med/Surg before starting psychiatric nursing. My previous experience made my transition to psychiatric nursing much easier. For example, there are many psychiatric patients that will attention seek, manipulate, or as part of their mental disease process, present to nursing with medical complaints. It is important for the nurse to have experience and strong assessment skills to make appropriate decisions. Without this knowledge, a nurse would be sending patients to the ER almost continuously and feeding into some of the patients psychiatric conditions.
    As a psych RN, resources may be somewhat scarce and at times, you may be working without any other nursing or medical staff present. Therefore, autonomy and confidence are also important qualities to have. I personally think that some medical experience would be of benefit to a new psych nurse.

  • Mar 22
  • Mar 22

    Oh honey....I am soooo sorry. ((HUGS)) That is tough. Sadly...children do die regardless of meticulous care. I was very young when I started nursing and I walked around with my mind reeling at the reality, and the brutality, of life.

    I think it is different for all nurses...for me it is my spiritual beliefs (not necessarily religion per say) that helps my heart heal. I learned that even the most sophisticated medicine cannot save everyone if it is just...their time.

    When I graduated nursing I was BARELY 18. I went to work at a community hospital in their peds/adult unit which meant we put adults in the beds until we had kids to care for. In those days there really wasn't all of the sophisticated peds assessments and intervention protocol we treated them like "little adults". One night I was working alone, maybe 3 months off orientation by now, and we had the usual croupers and our one "frequent flyer" that was a 3yo little guy with multiple issues. He had a trach on a vent (on a regular floor) he had several birth defects, he had heart surgery, a VP shunt, cystic those days a very limited life span.

    One night...he coded. I did everything right. I started CPR and called a code. People came out of no where and charged into the room. They took over and they were so smart.

    I NEVER felt so dumb.

    The sweet little angel that I had cared for over and over again and rocked to sleep many many nights...died.

    I cried and cried. They sent me home. I was inconsolable. I cried to my Mom and my older sister (who was a nurse) and in the end I realized he didn't die because of me. Nor did he die because I failed him. He didn't die because those smart people failed him....It was his time. I realized that there was something greater then I that makes that God, Budda, Allah, the Son God, Karma, the didn't matter. I did not control the time clock and that comforted me.

    My Mom and sister (as well as the nurses I worked with) told me how smart I was and that I was a good nurse and that I needed to think about what I was upset about. I realized that I was upset because I felt that I failed due to the lack of knowledge. It change the course of my career.

    I then began my journey into critical care. I had a voracious appetite for knowledge. I never looked back. I became a critical care queen, a trauma flight nurse, cath lab, open heart, peds open heart, the Emergency room. There was life...and death but it was Okay because I was no longer stupid and I knew I gave each and every person my best.

    Quote from bayebeth
    So all in all, I have these questions for whoever can share their wisdom with me:
    1. How can I cope with this? Especially that I feel this is already too much death that I can handle and I haven't even started my career yet!
    2. How can I help myself handle it better in the future? (ex. I've had people tell me that I should just tell my brain that they were just a simulation dummy)
    3. What how can I be HIPAA compliant and still share my experiences with a therapist? What can I share?
    4. Is it inappropriate as a nurse/nursing student to donate to their funeral funding page? What about going to a public viewing funeral service (I'm not planning on doing this, but I was interested in what is considered normal)?

    Thank you guys so much in advance, as I know you will all provide me with invaluable knowledge I can use going forward.
    1) Yes, you can cope with this messy thing called life. Realize that life and death is NOT in your control. What you are in control of is becoming the best nurse you can be...always learn and improve and when you stumble...forgive yourself. You are human.
    2) Educate yourself. It will come with experience. Eventually think about ACLS. Realize a part of life.
    3) Of course you can tell your therapist. HIPAA is a need to know basis...that is need to know.
    4) Be careful of donating really crosses the line. Maybe donate to a local charity you believe in and in your heart it would be for them. I have gone to a handful of funerals....a very small handful of those I developed a close relationship with.

    I hope this helps some...((HUGS))

  • Mar 18

    When She Spoke - Hope’s Story of Selective Mutism

    This story is very personal to me and my family. I am certain I will cry my way through writing it, but it is an important story to tell. I believe it will help me heal in some way and help others as it is rare and misunderstood. It is a story of a child who has selective mutism due to emotional trauma and life events. I will refer to the very special little girl in this story as Hope. Hope is what I have always felt for her.

    I was walking my daughter into class about 2 months into her kindergarten year in school. I will never forget this day for the rest of my life. This sweet, beautiful little girl scurried up to me and my daughter and grabbed her hand and held on all the way into the classroom. As we were walking, I asked her name and various other small talk questions until my daughter finally said, “Mommy Hope doesn’t talk”. I did not ask anything else that morning but thought about what my daughter said all day. When we got home from school, I asked my daughter to tell me about this little girl. She told me her name, that she was new to the school, and that she never, ever talks to anyone. Not to teachers, principal, kids, lunch people, her grandmother...anyone. My daughter said that Hope is her very best friend and she can tell what she is wanting to say so she helps her out a lot.

    Over the next few months, I would ask about Hope and whether she is talking yet and my daughter always answered “Nope not yet”. As I chaperoned field trips, I saw how inseparable these sweet girls were. Hope was full of hugs, hand holding and need for love, but never smiled….always looked troubled and never spoke a word. It broke my heart. Hope was all I could think about.

    I started to ask questions of the teachers and school counselors of how I could help. Answers followed like, “we are taking care of her, she’s on our radar...etc” but nothing changed. With walking my kids into school every morning, I came to know Hope’s ways of communicating a bit better. I also noticed from seeing her dropped off, at school functions, that she was from a broken home. As it turns out she was “cared for” by her father who is in and out of prison, mother who is addicted to drugs and in prison often, grandmother who sees Hope as her son’s problem to manage, a maternal great grandmother who is so fragile she can barely care for herself, and a maternal great aunt who fills in the blank and supervises Hope’s visits with her mother(who has had parental rights revoked). WOW!

    No wonder she doesn’t speak. She sleeps in a different bed every night, unsure of her safety, eats whatever she can find, has seen more danger and insecurity in her 6 years of life than I have in my 40 years!

    Someone had to help. As a nurse, a mother, a strong Christian and a “get-er-done” kinda lady, I found a way to make that person me. I introduced myself to all of Hope’s family as I met them. I made sure that every day when I walked my daughter in, that I stopped to whisper in Hope’s ear “Your voice matters, you matter. What you have to say is important and you are important! I care about you”.

    Hope started to come over for playdates with my daughter. She started to open up, relax, smile, laugh, hug a ton and not want to leave. Eventually, I asked if I could pay for her to attend summer camps with my daughter, swimming lessons, gymnastics. Her father allowed it. She became part of the norm around our house, but still after months, no words.

    As her family life continued to decline, she started staying with our family. Dad would leave her with us for days without calling us or checking in. At times I had to take Hope to the doctor, and to the dentist for several cavities, etc. Dad assigned me power of attorney to help me care for her and be able to safely take Hope on our family vacations, meet with school counselors, attend and sign school forms and meetings etc.

    She had kept her clothes, lovey bunny, toys etc with us. Had her own space and became a sister to our 3 kids. Our family carried on like she was one of our children. She got hugs, told we love her, tucked into bed at night, bedtime stories, time-outs when necessary, made to take a courtesy bite of the broccoli etc...just like our 3 kids.

    Then, one evening, it happened! Five months into Hope’s life with us, I was reading to the girls at bedtime, and I heard 2 whispering voices. My daughter's voice and one with a strong southern country accent! I had spent months talking to our kids about not making a big deal out of her first words when she feels comfortable talking. But I have to say I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! (I did not, or course). When Hope went to brush her teeth that evening, I asked my daughter if she was talking. My daughter said, “yeah, she has been talking to me for several days”. When she is alone with my daughter at school she speaks to her, but not around anyone else. I’ll never forget our daughter saying, “Mama...she is REALLY country sounding!”

    A few days later during our daughter’s piano practice, I was killing time with Hope and she just started talking!! As plain and natural as if she always had! Of course, I cried like a baby and hugged her. Told her how happy that it made me that she trusted us with her words! From that point on, Hope was a chatterbox in our home and to strangers when we went on vacations, but still not at school. I got her to read aloud to me as her teacher sat on the other side of the open door and listened so she could be tested. Eventually, she would read to me in front of her teacher. She called me Mommy and referred to our children as her brothers and sister.

    I wish I could say that Hope is still with our family. Through many court battles that we did not win, she is now staying with her paternal grandmother who has come to love her. She is in a clean house, fed well and cared for. She is still missing some of the childhood necessities that are important to a child with mutism, such as extracurricular activities, birthday parties with friends, sleepovers with her BFFs, but her primary needs are met. Her family does not allow us contact with her as they feel she was too attached to our family to grow with her own family. We grieve every day; some days worse than others. I have truly felt like I lost a child. I cared for her as if she was my own and love her deeply. She is a beautiful, resilient, strong spirit. I get an occasional note from one of Hope’s family members (our kids are no longer in the same school). I live for those notes. The best one I received was this Christmas. Hope had a SPEAKING part in her school play in her new school! I cried for days! I am so proud of her for finding her voice in the world!

    I thought long and hard after that note came my way. I realized that my family and I made a difference in that one little girl's life that will stay with her forever. She will not forget us. She will remember how a “normal family” functions. She will forever know that her voice matters to the whole world! I have hoped and prayed for this child so much and HOPE is exactly what I have always had for her. I HOPE she stays on a solid path in life, I HOPE that she uses her strong voice to help others, I HOPE that she stays true to herself no matter the circumstances around her, but most of all, I HOPE that we get to see her and have her in our life again someday!

    What is selective mutism?

    The Selective Mutism Center says: “Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child's inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.” Selective mutism effects children for various reasons.

    What causes Selective mutism?

    Some causes of selective mutism are severe social anxiety, sensory processing disorders, hearing issues, speech problems, instability in the child's life and sadly some due to witnessing traumatic events. More than 90% of children that suffer from selective mutism have an underlying social anxiety or phobia. Most children are genetically predisposed to anxiety. The human body has a built-in mechanism, the sympathetic nervous system, that is triggered when a fearful situation is faced. Children with selective mutism have an actual fear of speaking, or even communicating in a non-verbal manner. This nervous system response is the body’s way of protecting itself from danger. Mutism is a symptom and the emphasis should be on what is causing the mutism.

    What does selective mutism “look” like?

    • Blank facial expression
    • Never seem to smile
    • Awkward body language
    • Seemingly uncomfortable
    • Appears unhappy
    • Avoids eye contact
    • Withdraws from group

    What to do with/ for a mute child?

    First and foremost, a child who is mute should not be forced into speaking. Children are often mistreated by adults or peers because of the thought that the “child is just being stubborn”.It is important to understand that some children with Selective Mutism may start out with mutism in school and other social settings. Due to negative reinforcement of their mutism, misunderstandings from those around them, and perhaps heightened stress within their environment, they may develop mutism in all settings. These children have progressive mutism and are mute in/out of the home with all people, including parents and siblings. The earlier the child is seen by a physician and a treatment team is established including, parents/caregivers, teachers, speech therapist,and psychiatrist the easier time a child may have transitioning to speaking. The longer the child stays mute, the more difficult social situations become. The following 9 types of treatment may be used to treat this disorder.

    1. Behavioral Therapy using primarily positive reinforcement and desensitization
    2. Play Therapy, Psychotherapy, and other psychological approaches which decrease the stress to talk
    3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by specialists trained to redirect fears
    4. Medication which may help decrease anxiety levels using SSRIs
    5. Self-esteem boosters emphasising positive attributes the child has
    6. Frequent socialization encouraging as much socialization as possible without pushing the child
    7. School Involvement which will educate the staff and teachers that the child can truly NOT speak. May need IEP or 504 Plan to accommodate learning needs
    8. Family Involvement and Parental acceptance
    9. Social Communication Anxiety Therapy (SCAT) which is an individual treatment plan set forth for each individual child

    When diagnosed and treated as early as possible, the prognosis for mutism is excellent. The child needs to be in a safe home where patience and acceptance of the child is present. Education to those involved with the child's daily life is important to decrease the anxiety and misunderstanding of this disorder. This disorder is very painful for the child, we all need to take part in educating and providing the best care possible to help the child overcome this hurdle. Remember that the child is not being stubborn or disobedient, there are true reasons that the child is not speaking. We can make a world of difference to this one child.

    There are several excellent websites to learn more about mutism. If you have an experience you would like to share, I would love to hear it. This disorder is rare, so support of those suffering (parents/caregiver and child) is crucial.


    Selective Mutism Association |

  • Mar 17

    There is already a term for when medical professionals override a patient's autonomy and wishes in treating them without adequate justification. That term is 'battery,' not 'rape.'