Had a mom flip out on me today... - page 2

So today I had a mom who was a nervous wreck, kid was fine, just needed a little labwork. Mom refuses papoose, the kid flips out during the stick, mom loses it and allows kiddo to swing arms. Kids... Read More

  1. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Quote from TrudyRN
    ITA. It is very, very painful to see our children have to suffer, even if it's just a blood draw or a shot. Some parents just don't have what it takes to be the best role model for the child. The parents need support, as they can't support their kids. Time was when parents were exiled to the waiting room during any procedures on their child - sticks, draws, stitches. Visiting was severely restricted, no overnights. It was absolutely horrible. But now parents are expected to be bastions of strength and some just are not.

    :uhoh21:
    I always, each and every time, give parents the option of going to the waiting area during any and all procedures. I never fault the ones who do, matter of fact I am glad they do if they know they can't handle it.
  2. by   RoxanRN
    When I worked in the ER, I would always take Mom and Dad aside to explain what was going to happen. At the top of my list was "Junior takes his cues from you. If you freak out, he'll freak out. If you are calm, cool, and collected, he will find it much easier to be calm, cool and collected. If you feel like you are going to lose it, that's ok; just step outside the room first." I usually didn't have much problem with the parents who received this 'pep talk.'
  3. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    It helps to remember that watching a child cry out in pain is not something that mothers ever really get used to, nor would it be desirable for a parent to enjoy watching.

    Anticipating that your child will have pain is just as painful for the parent as it is for the child.

    Different cultures have different responses.

    A friend of mine is a new mother and also is a healthcare worker, and called me in tears because her newborn had to have not one, but two, heelsticks for bilirubin. She also described it as "the worst experience of my life."

    She said that the caregivers were wonderful, but that she couldn't bear to see her new babe in pain.

    I know you do this on a daily basis (and god love you for it, I couldn't!) but next time, it might help to relax the child indirectly by helping the mother calm down first.
    ITA with you about calming mom down first. In this case, it just was not possible. I can't begin to tell you just how irrational mom was. I like dealing with challenging people but she was just impossible. Thanks for the advice. I love your quote!
  4. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Quote from RoxanRN2003
    When I worked in the ER, I would always take Mom and Dad aside to explain what was going to happen. At the top of my list was "Junior takes his cues from you. If you freak out, he'll freak out. If you are calm, cool, and collected, he will find it much easier to be calm, cool and collected. If you feel like you are going to lose it, that's ok; just step outside the room first." I usually didn't have much problem with the parents who received this 'pep talk.'
    I like that pep talk!
  5. by   jrussole
    Most mothers that I have come in contact with are pretty good with their children. I believe it is important to note that if you feel the mother is going to be irrational or inflict fear into the child, it might be best to ask the mother to step aside or into the corner of the room where the child may not be able to see her face, etc. I usually calmly explain that her fear are going to reflect upon her child negatively. Whereby, a negative outcome can and will probably develop. If they continue to be irrational. I let the MD handle it. People usually respond better to MD anyway. I suppose they feel its ok to mistreat a nurse but not speak to a MD in the same manner? Even tho the nurse is probably much more skilled at putting an IV in than a MD. *(We get more practice) especially with kiddos!
  6. by   ICRN2008
    I ran into this situation a lot in clinicals, where the child would be fine until the mother arrived and started projecting her anxieties onto the kid.

    I think that the idea of a pep talk is a great one. I often wanted to pull the mother aside and talk to her, but I didn't know what to say. "Your child takes his cues from you" is a much nicer way to communicate what I really wanted to say ("Stop freaking out, because you're only freaking your kid out more"). I understood that the parents were going through a hard time, but I also want to say in a nice way that they can leave if they can not handle seeing a procedure on their child.

    I recently had to do finger sticks for lead screening on preschoolers. I found that it was much easier because we did it during the school day when the parents weren't there. My fellow students went to the classroom and taught the students what would be happening using a teddy bear. Then they had a familiar student nurse holding them during the procedure. We only had a few kids crying or screaming. We made sure to praise them for holding still, gave them stickers, and allowed them to cry if they needed to. Most of them just glared at me for a minute when I stuck them and said "OW!", then it was over.

    I have a lot to learn about how to deal with parents; I think they are more challenging than the kids sometimes!
    Last edit by ICRN2008 on Dec 14, '06
  7. by   ItsyBitsySpider
    Parents are one of the biggest challenges in dealing with peds nursing. Once you have gained their trust it really helps to facilitate a much more positive experience for the patient. With the exception of a life-threatening emergency, I always try to sit and talk with the parents first. It's just sometimes you think you know how a parent is going to act during a procedure, and I believe the parent thinks they can handle it, but when they hear their little one scream some just lose it. I had a dad punch the concrete wall next to me the other day. I guess better the wall than me. I don't mind the parents who are upset at their child "hurting", but it's the ones that actually get mad at us and act like we want to torture their kiddos that bug me. I must say though that the majority of parents really are great. Being a parent myself and being able to empathize with them helps. I couldn't even take my daughter to get her ears pierced. :uhoh21:
  8. by   Faeriewand
    I love that pep talk. My next clinical rotation isn't ED but is in peds. I should write that down anyway.

    With my first child I couldn't understand why doctors often thought I would be upset when I would bring my child into emergency for something. I was concerned so maybe I wasn't aware of the look on my face? But I never said anything or freaked out. They would have me sit down and I didn't argue. No point in explaining to them that I didn't need to sit.

    But then I had recently finished working at so many rock concerts and saw so much that the procedures going on the the ER just didn't bother me.
  9. by   `seagull
    The problem in nursing are the adult. In pediatric nursing the children are no problem. Only the Parents. In adult nursing the adult is also the problem. When they are sick they act like babies. You have to get to use to these in order to survive in bedside nursing.
  10. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    So many people who are really not cut out to be parents have kids. I mean, if a mother totally freaks out over her kid getting a shot, how is she going to be there for her child if something serious ever happens to him?
    I don't like to think I'm not cut out to be a parent, but I'm not exactly good at emergencies, especially when it involves my children. I'm the type to run out the door and start running around and around the house when something happens. When my two oldest were toddlers one slammed the other's finger in a door. I saw the blood and bone (nearly chopped it off) and I just totally flipped out, grabbed a towel, my husband had to hold the towel over baby's finger while I drove to the ER and I couldn't look at it the whole time I sat and held her while they worked on it. I was a nervous wreck. I was like, just help my baby, PLEASE!
    Then, my son walked under a piece of farm equipment and hit his head. Blood all over the place and I totally flipped out and wouldn't even look at it. My husband looked at it and it was just a scratch, thank goodness.

    But even I have to say, this mother went above and beyond flipping out. My children have had to have blood work done and it did bother me but at the same time I knew it was for their own good. Someone should have reminded Mom, hey, you brought your kid to us, remember???
  11. by   dawngloves
    Quote from RoxanRN2003
    When I worked in the ER, I would always take Mom and Dad aside to explain what was going to happen. At the top of my list was "Junior takes his cues from you. If you freak out, he'll freak out. If you are calm, cool, and collected, he will find it much easier to be calm, cool and collected. If you feel like you are going to lose it, that's ok; just step outside the room first." I usually didn't have much problem with the parents who received this 'pep talk.'
    I am a cool cuecumber when my kids get hurt. But nothing short of Ativan will calm them down. My son is very familiar with the Papoose.

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