The Best Nurses Are Like our Best Teachers

As we’ve settled into this strange routine at Childrens’ Hospital, I’m left thinking about this world that we’re living in. I’m thinking about the surgeons who take the time to answer all of our questions and to talk directly to our son. And I’m thinking a lot about the litany of nurses coming through our lives this week. Actually, we’re visitors in their lives as we live where they work.

Some barely make an imprint, just doing their jobs, efficiently and effectively. Others make an extra effort to ask a question or to notice something about my son. One nurse took me on a tour, two days in, to show me where I could go to get Tallon another juice or a popsicle, something I wish someone had done on the first day. Still another nurse printed information on spleen injuries for me, which I especially appreciated because I like to know as much about something like this as possible. And the best was the nurse we had the second night in who just showed so much tenderness that my son wished for her again.

Just like teaching, there are those in nursing who passed almost anonymously through our lives and those who left an imprint. How simple it was for them to spend just an extra minute and leave us feeling so much better. Showing us that they cared enough to SEE my son, not just another patient in room 910, made a difference to us.

This is exactly the same as what our best teachers do. They see my child, all of him, and they show him that they care who he is. The best teachers, like the best nurses, aren’t afraid to show they care, that they’re interested more in the kid than the task.

  1. I read your blog often, but don’t comment. I hope that Tallon is okay. I only know what’s going on from what you write in your very edgy blog-love it!Please let him know that his 4th grade fans still think of him and wish him well!!

  2. Mrs. Moritz,
    I’m so glad to hear that Tallon is doing okay. Please let him know that our family is thinking about him.

  3. Once again, a reader of G-Town has taught me something. When I read Laura Miller’s comment above, I realized I’d missed a valuable piece of this–communication with the parents. As much as I appreciated the direct way doctors talked to my child, I also appreciated the time they took with me. Thank you to Laura for reminding me that the student is deeply connected to the family and often our efforts with parents go a very long way.

  4. You are always so insightful; I always learn so much from reading your blogs. I take away a lot each time I come here.

    My heart goes out to you as a mother. I know how much worry and anguish a sick child brings. I’m glad you have received good news and Tallon is on the mend.

    I think good teachers not only do everything they can for the student, but they also do everything they can to support the parents. Just like the nurse that brought you printouts about the spleen, the one that took you on a tour of the building, and the one that showed compassion towards your son……..all of that communication and extra effort makes the difference in how the parent views the hospital or a school. It’s one thing to do everything you can for a student during the school day, but it’s another to go out of your way to communicate with a parent on the phone, in emails, and in conferences. It means a lot to a parent for a teacher to call and say, “Johnny knew 10 sight words today! I was really proud of him”. Or for a teacher to email a parent and say “Abby’s really struggling with rhyming…….here are 10 ideas you can try with her at home that might help her improve on this skill”.

  5. Kim,

    I am very sorry to hear about your son and your ordeal at Children’s hospital. A few years ago, I too went through many hours and days with my daughter there, often thinking of the parallels between the two institutions, school and hospital. The major difference between nurses and teachers (and some advice for you) is that you can be more selective if there is a particular nurse you are unhappy with. See the head nurse if you receive service that is not satisfactory. You are in charge.
    I wish you the best of luck with your son and I have great respect for your ability to continue write while going through this challenge. Your courage is admirable.

  6. Kim,

    Oh my god! I had you on my mind today and for some reason I thought I would try to find your Blog. My heart stopped when I saw Childrens Hospital and Tallons name. I am so glad he is going to be OK. I am going to call you tomorrow. Please give him all of our Love and some for you and Derrik too!

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