Things I Learned From My Husband’s Hospital Stay

July 26, 2010

Partial family portrait at the hospital

It was an interesting experience staying in the hospital with my husband for a few days and NOT being the nurse. Although there were a few frustrating moments, overall we had a great experience. We liked certain staff members more than others. And actually, I think the whole ordeal will make me a better nurse. Here are some things I learned:

  • When you walk into a patient’s room, introduce yourself. Even if you’re not assigned to that patient and are just helping out, let the patient know why you’re there. About a million people came in and out of our room and we didn’t know who half of them were. It was strange.
  • If you are taking care of a patient, let them know how long you will be there. They need to know who to ask for help. Also, it would be nice if you let them know when you’re leaving.
  • If you have to wake a patient up in the early morning to draw blood, don’t do it by bursting into the room and turning on the lights. Here’s an idea: gently rouse them and let them know you’ll be turning on the lights so they can brace themselves.
  • Remember what they taught you in nursing school: pain is what the patient says it is. Every patient reacts differently to pain medicine. Just because someone is getting what you think is a high dose, doesn’t mean it is effective. There is always something else you can do.
  • If you see family pictures put up, comment on them. Ask who they are, say that the babies are cute. It’ll make the patient feel like you care.
  • Just smile and be friendly already! You may be having a terrible day, but I guarantee your patients aren’t having the best day of their lives either. Your attitude makes a huge difference.

We were in the hospital for three days. The surgery went well, and although he had a pretty high fever every day, they can’t find any cause for it. It was a rough time, painful for him and painful for me to watch him in pain and not be able to do anything. If we thought we were intimate before, we had no idea. But every day David looks better, moves better, feels better.

We’re so happy to be home.

Posted in: health, personal

Comments on Things I Learned From My Husband’s Hospital Stay

  1. 1

    From Callina:

    I’ve been reading your blog and following you on twitter through your husband’s ordeal. My thoughts are with you and thank you also for this post with tips–I’m a nursing student and I love getting extra insight, things like the little details that make a big difference.

  2. 2

    From Emily Jane:

    You guys continue to be in my prayers and I hope every day gets a little easier for him <3

  3. 3

    From Amber from Girl with the Red Hair:

    I’m SO HAPPY you’re home!!! Keep us updated! XO

  4. 4

    From Leslie:

    Your tips are great! I think they apply to people even if they aren’t nurses. We should all just be more kind and attentive!

  5. 5

    From Emily:

    I’m so glad you posted this. As a nurse it’s always good to have a reminder to focus on the actual people you’re taking care of rather than the tasks you need to complete that day. Not every nurse gets the opportunity to see it from the other side, which is unfortunate.

    Hope your hubby is feeling better quickly :)

  6. 6

    From Tabaitha:

    Praying for a speedy recovery for David.

  7. 7

    From Rae:

    I am sorry that you had to “learn” these things in the midst of an already-tough time!

  8. 8

    From Nora:

    I’m so glad that you guys are home; you’re such an inspiration to take a situation like this and turn it into a learning experience. I’m sure you’re already a great nurse but this entire post just confirmed it.

    Keeping you & D in my thoughts and prayers!

  9. 9

    From Ashley:

    So glad to hear the surgery went well.

  10. 10

    From Christine:

    I’m glad that the surgery went well and that you’re back at home! I’m praying for a speedy recovery! :)

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